Ahead of the series decider in Cape Town, South Africa captain Dean Elgar has stated that India skipper Virat Kohli brings a different dynamic to the game. The India Test captain, who missed the Johnnasberg fixture due to a back spasm, is all set to return to the squad for the Cape Town Test.
South Africa registered a resounding seven-wicket victory against India in the second Test match at the Wanderers and had levelled the three-match series 1-1. South Africa batsman displayed a brilliant batting performance in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test, and comfortably chased down the 240-run target.
Team India missed the services of Virat Kohli in the second Test as he was ruled out of the match due to an upper back spasm. KL Rahul, who was appointed as stand-in vice-captain for the three-match Test series against South Africa, led the tourists at the Wanderers.
Reflecting on Kohli's absence in the Johannesburg Test, South Africa captain Dean Elgar reckoned that the India Test captain brings a different dynamic to the game. Elgar further opined that Team India missed the strategies of Kohli in the second Test match at the Wanderers.
"Virat brings a different dynamic to the game. I don't think I missed him. But I think potentially his team missed him, no doubt just from a captaincy point of view and maybe from a strategy point of view,” Elgar said on the eve of the third Test
"He is a world-class player and very experienced within their squad. His name speaks for itself and it's one of the more respected cricketers around so I wouldn't say I missed him... But it doesn't matter who are playing against. We as a team, we need to focus on us,” he added.
The third and final Test of the three-match series will be played in Cape Town from January 11. India will be looking forward to scripting their maiden Test series win in the rainbow nation, while South Africa will be eyeing a second successive Freedom Trophy victory in their own backyard.
Elgar stated that the Cape Town Test will be his team’s biggest in the last 15 years.
"This test is potentially the biggest we've had in 10 years, maybe even 15 years. And I think that speaks for its own respect. Test cricket is always going to have intensity, me as a player harbouring the intensity as well. So I don't think it's going to lack intensity,” Elgar stated.
"Test cricket still demands quite a high level of intensity and you have to maintain that throughout five days. I know it's not always possible to maintain that throughout five days. But you have to be pretty consistent with regards to implementing the intensity throughout. That's why it's so important to switch off when you can switch off,” he added.
"We saw in the Wanderers the minute we brought the intensity it seemed to almost flush the Indians quite a lot. And when that can play in our favour and it would be silly for us not to try and replicate that or even bring even more intensity into the next game,” Elgar said.
Speaking on the pitch condition at Newlands, Elgar predicted that the third and final Test of the three-match series will last five days.
"I've seen it from a domestic (match) point of view. Looks a little bit different. Yeah, they've done quite a lot of work after that game we had domestically and the condition is actually pretty good. I think it's the best I've seen Newlands in quite some time,” Elgar said.
"The conditions look actually quite welcoming for us. They're just trying to prepare a good Test wicket because I think they obviously want the wicket to deteriorate over time into day four and five.
"That just calls on basics with regards to the kind of deterioration, wear and tear that the wicket can offer but it does look like a relatively good cricket pitch," he added.