Dean Elgar believes that there is no “longevity” in England’s new Bazball era and that they narrowly avoided having “egg on their on their faces” during the New Zealand series.
Speaking to Luke Alfred in the latest edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly, Elgar was asked of his opinion of England’s new style of cricket that saw them record four historic, consecutive victories against New Zealand and India.
“The new England style is quite interesting,” said the South African captain. “But I don’t see that there’s longevity in brave cricket because I see things evening out over time in Test cricket. There was often parity between England and New Zealand [in the recent Test series] and had New Zealand taken their opportunities and their catches then things could have been very different. England would have come away with egg on their faces.”
South Africa are one of the form teams in Test cricket and are unbeaten across their last four series which has included a 2-0 win at home to India and a 1-1 draw away to World Test Champions New Zealand, a run that has coincided with Elgar assuming the captaincy full time in March 2021.
“If someone had given me a blueprint for how it would turn out,” he says, “I would have taken seven Test wins out of nine with both hands and both feet. The response from the guys when we’ve been down against India and New Zealand has been overwhelming. We’re aware that results are our only currency.”
The Proteas have also developed a reputation for playing hard and at times fiery cricket. Their series against India contained several heated exchanges, with India calling into question the neutrality of the DRS system being used. Then, against Bangladesh in Durban, the away side criticised South Africa for excessive sledging
“We play the game hard,” Elgar said after that encounter, “and if anything we were just giving back what we were getting when we were batting. It is Test cricket. It’s a man’s environment when it comes to playing at this level, and I intend to play the game hard.”