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Dean Elgar says he needs time away from cricket before he makes a decision on his future

South African captain Dean Elgar during a game

South African captain Dean Elgar will take some away from cricket before he makes any decision about his future in the game. Picture: Dave Hunt/EPA

Published Jan 8, 2023


Cape Town - Dean Elgar will "chill out a bit" and have some deep conversations with himself around a braai fire in the bush before he contemplates his future.

The Proteas men's Test captain has been under siege for the past month in Australia as his team were overwhelmed 2-0 in the three match series. In the process, the Proteas surrendered a 17-year unbeaten series record Down Under.

Even salvaging a draw in the final rain-affected Test in Sydney on Sunday could not save the Proteas’ blushes in a series where they were outplayed in all facets of the game.

To compound Elgar's woes his form with the bat has been horrendous with the skipper averaging 9.33 across the three Test matches.

There are only two Test matches remaining this season against the West Indies at the end of February and by then Elgar may have been put to pasture, especially with Cricket SA set to announce a new permanent men's national team coach fairly soon.

Elgar was hesitant to provide any clarity on his future, particularly as he only plays one format of the game at international level, and will instead take some time out away from the game before he makes any major decisions.

"We've got two [Tests] and then potentially a lot of time off for myself for some gully cricket. Then the pressure is off a little bit. But, I enjoy the pressure. If [I was] scoring runs now, it would have been a lot easier to say yes [I want to continue] but obviously you've got to go into it and ask yourself those questions and I have. I still have the hunger and drive, no doubt," Elgar said.

"I am taking as much time off as I want. That's what I need at the moment. There's been a few conversations with me and the batting coaches to potentially do extra work but for now, I just want to get on a plane, and go home, chill out a bit, have a braai and maybe go to the bush and play some golf."

Judging by Elgar's comments, the skipper has certainly taken severe strain on this Australian tour and it showed in his dismissals. Ordinarily a batter that enjoys the grind and is mentally strong, Elgar has discovered ways to get himself out in the most ungainly of manners.

Not only was he left scrambling on the MCG turf trying to make his ground in the Boxing Day Test, but a technical flaw has been exposed by the ball rising sharply into his rib-cage with the skipper being caught three times down the leg side.

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"I can accept once, maybe twice, but the third time is something that highly irritates me," he said.

"And it's something different for me. Generally you have a way of going out and bowlers target that. This is obviously something new and 10 years into a Test career, it's foreign territory for me. It's something to potentially reflect on and you can either say it's s*** luck or not. I'm going to have an open mind around it and have a look.

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"It's just a bit frustrating that I could never get going through the series and when I did get going I managed to run myself out, which is also a massive no-no in Test cricket. All round, it's extremely frustrating."

Elgar will have plenty of time to dissect the Australian tour as he along with vice-captain Temba Bavuma will play no part in the upcoming Betway SA20 tournament starting on Tuesday at Newlands.


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