Opening batsman Dean Elgar says the Proteas struggled to gain consistency in the recent Test series against England, which was convincingly won by Joe Root’s men.
The Mark Boucher era got off to a good start with a victory in the opening clash at SuperSport Park in December, but England proved too strong in the following three Test matches, claiming victories in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg for a 3-1 series triumph.
Elgar, who was one of the better performers for South Africa in red-ball cricket over the summer – which started with a disastrous tour of India in October last year – says the team found it difficult to execute the basics after winning the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
‘We started well against England and from thereon we struggled to solidify the basics for a longer period of time, which England did,’ explained Elgar.
‘They utilised their experience in their favour and once they get momentum on their side, they are a very difficult team to stop. I would’ve liked to see us be more consistent but those are the certain areas that we need to work on for whenever the season starts again.
‘There are certain positives and I would like to see us do the basics for a little bit longer, especially in Test cricket, and then ultimately the results might be in your favour.’
Elgar was the Proteas’ third-highest run-scorer, behind Quinton de Kock and Rassie van Der Dussen, across the four matches against England with an average of 30.50.
His only half-century from the series came in the first innings of the second Test at Newlands, where the left-hander carelessly threw his wicket away against the bowling of Dom Bess with his score on 88.
Elgar admits his consistency for the Proteas over the years in Test cricket has largely been down to the full commitment and focus he places on the team environment and his individual ability.
One related sacrifice he made was to abandon the use of social media as he feels too much negativity is being spread across platforms in modern-day society and that the effects of it could be draining on sports stars.
‘As an individual you have that choice and I chose not to have it and I have done that to focus on my performance, focus on the team, focus on the bigger picture and just try negate the negative connotations that comes with being an international sportsman,’ said Elgar.