Dean Elgar says Proteas first innings total was ’very very underpar’
JOHANNESBURG - Dean Elgar was grateful for the intensity of South Africa’s bowlers, particularly after the Proteas posted what he described as a “very very under par,” first innings total.
South Africa were bowled out for 220, on a flat, but slow first day pitch at the National Stadium in Karachi on Tuesday with Elgar top scoring with 58. In reply, led by an excellent spell from Kagiso Rabada, the bowlers reduced the hosts to 33/4.
“It’s a very very underpar score on that pitch,” said Elgar, who was among those that were dismissed playing a loose shot. “We didn’t bat particularly well. We’ve not fulfilled our potential, especially with the way we prepared leading up this Test.”
Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen were also run out and it appeared that South Africa had handed Pakistan a significant advantage after winning the toss. But Rabada dismissed both Pakistan openers, while left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed the vital wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, in a lively final 40 minutes of the day.
“I think we are on top, which is not something I would have said after our first innings,” remarked Elgar. “We would have paid good money to have them four (wickets) down for such a low score.”
Elgar said the first hour on Wednesday morning would be critical in determining the direction the match will take. Pakistan’s most experienced player Azhar Ali is still at the crease on five with Fawad Alam - who’s technique is reminiscent of former West Indies star Shivnarine Chanderpaul - set to resume on the second also with five runs to his name.
“If we can try and emulate the way we started with the ball (on Tuesday) evening, we can really knuckle down, build a lot of pressure, then a lot of chances will come our way. We know the importance of the first hour, and our fast bowlers will bring the intensity again, which they pride themselves on.”
“If we can get the remaining six wickets quickly, hopefully we can get out there batting again as soon as possible.”