AUS vs SA | Would love for our guys to be exposed to more of this than beat team of similar strength, asserts Dean Elgar

AUS vs SA | Would love for our guys to be exposed to more of this than beat team of similar strength, asserts Dean Elgar

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Dean Elgar's poor form has played part in some shambolic batting displays from the Proteas of late

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(Cricket Australia)

Dean Elgar was brutal in his assessment of South Africa's performances in the ongoing Test series against Australia as he pinpointed a lack of courage with the bat after defeat in the second Test. The skipper however acknowledged the importance of the series in producing experienced campaigners.

South Africa wilted away in the Melbourne sun on Thursday as they collapsed to a series loss with an innings and 182-run victory, registering their fourth loss on the trot while donning the all-whites. The visitors have struggled to put up big runs with the bat, suffering one collapse after the other in recent times to waste the promise their bowling attack has shown. 

Skipper Dean Elgar was critical of the side's batting as well in the wake of the defeat, having been suffering a lack of runs himself. In four innings, he has just managed 31 runs on the series, including a duck in his latest showing. The veteran admitted the team has failed to show the courage required to take the game to the Kangaroos Down Under. 

"I don't think there has been a lot of courage. There's been a lot more with the ball in hand," he was quoted saying by cricket.com.au in the press conference.

In the first Test at the Gabba, the Proteas were bowled out for a paltry 158 and 99, despite their bowlers providing hope by bowling out a formidable batting line-up for 218 in the first innings and then reducing them to 35/4 in a low chase. However, Elgar felt the team showed greater personality in Melbourne even though the batting failed yet again, having registered a solitary score of 200-plus in their last nine innings.

"Take away the Gabba result, just purely out of this Test, I think a lot more character was shown with the ball even though the Aussies batted us into the ground. I really saw a lot of character come out in our bowling ranks, but maybe not as much in our batting. A pretty weak performance I'd say, in conditions that I felt were in favour of really good Test cricket. I'm pretty disappointed in how things ended up, whether it was today or tomorrow I still wanted to see us with a fighting chance going out there and still giving the Aussies a bit of a tough time by really taking pride in our wickets," Elgar explained.

South Africa risk slipping down to fifth in the Test rankings should they lose the final Test in Sydney beginning January 4 but still stand a shot at making it to the World Test Championship final. The side would need to likely win both Tests against the West Indies at home in March in what promises to be an easier assignment and Elgar acknowledged that challenges like Australia were important to prepare the younger players for international standards. 

"There are more learnings in this than going out and playing a team of similar strength and we beat them. I would still love for our guys to be exposed to more of this, and obviously, it’s so those guys can be fast-tracked in the international arena," Elgar concluded on the matter.

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