• ‘SA cricket is not unravelling’

    Dean Elgar says people have to understand the South African Test side is going through a rebuilding phase.

    South Africa had a tough day on Sunday in the second Test against England after Ben Stokes (258 off 198) smashed the fastest ever double-century by an England player as Alastair Cook declared on 629-6 midway through the second session.

    On how brutal the innings by Stokes was
    ‘Funny enough, it wasn’t a very long day out there. It was just a very intense session and a half by Bairstow and Stokes which was quite amazing to watch from where I was standing. It was a crazy day of cricket.’

    On the bowlers
    ‘I must give our bowling attack massive credit. Whatever the captain asked for, the bowlers put their hand up and threw it at them. We had various different game plans against them to try and get them out but it’s one of those days where you just have to take your cap off and say to them “well done, you won the battle”. I can’t fault our bowlers at all with regards to what they did out there today.’

    On Amla’s style of captaincy
    ‘Hashim doesn’t say much to us as a batting unit. He allows us to play and implement our game plans which is a massive feather in his cap. Even if they score 600 odd, nothing changes up front.’

    On his own innings
    ‘It’s one of those frustrating things of cricket at the moment. You feel a million dollars and one ball like that changes your whole day and your whole batting performance, which is a frustrating aspect of the game, but in the same sense there is a lot of positives that come out of my 44 runs. I feel very comfortable at the crease at the moment. I think the English threw quite a lot at us when we were batting because they know it’s one of those days where you get through the new ball and it’s like a honeymoon period out there for the batters.’

    Whether everything that South Africa have built over last few years is unravelling
    ‘Not at all. I think what people have to understand is that the Proteas Test team is going through a change. We’ve got a lot of new faces in our Test team, as was the case with our ODI side a while back. They also went through the same thing. We are going to cop a lot of abuse and we are a strong enough unit to take it on the chin, but we are also a strong enough unit to bounce back and still keep on following the processes that got us to the No 1-ranking in the world a few years ago.
    ‘People just have to understand. We know it’s frustrating; we know as players how frustrating it is, because we don’t want to do badly. But we know there is good around the corner. It’s just a very patient and frustrating time and we as players understand and accept it. People just have to understand that we are going through a rebuilding phase. We have a new captain, a new opening pair, we have a new middle order and we showed yesterday we have bowling depth as well. It’s one of those processes we have to go through and we have to take the knocks as well.’