Test cricket is having pulsating contests these days. India - Australia is locked at 1-1 after two matches in India and after Australia had drawn first blood at Pune. South Africa drew with New Zealand after rain ensured that no play was possible on the fifth day of the first test match at Dunedin. The second test between South Africa and New Zealand will take place on March 16, exactly the same date on which India and Australia will lock horns. #Dean Elgar won the man of the match award for his contribution with the bat.
Dean Elgar: the shining light of the first test between South Africa and New Zealand at Dunedin
Dean Elgar was the pick of the batsmen at Dunedin test and he met the extra pressure of guiding his team to safety with aplomb. Dean Elgar was a batsman who looked like a monk on a desert and he was able to spot the ball early and play an innings that was almost error free on a pitch that was helping seam and spin. Youngsters who would like to learn on how to construct an innings should watch the way Proteas opener went in grafting runs in Dunedin test. He might have kerbed the instinct of playing shots freely but has a pleasant habit of notching up big scores. He was the lone shining light in the gloom that had enclosed Dunedin and he came with a responsible 140 in the first innings and 89 in the second innings. Dean Elgar has scored seven test centuries so far in his career and can end his career as one of the best technical opening batsmen.
Dean Elgar frustrated New Zealand bowlers
Dean Elgar gives you a chance only once and it is better you grab it with both hands else be part of being taken for a ride by the technically sound batsmen. That is the simple message that Kiwis would have felt after being brought to a standstill against Proteas in both the innings. Kiwis had the upper hand in the first hour of the play on the first day morning, the first test at Dunedin. South Africa was reeling at sixty-five for the loss of four wickets when Dean Elgar gave a chance which was dropped by wicketkeeper Walting. Dean was batting at thirty-six and he went on to score one hundred and forty runs and take South Africa to 308 runs in the first innings. The score was above par on a wicket that was slow and crumbling and a team batting on the fourth innings would have faced the music chasing a score of above one hundred and fifty.
Kiwis would have loved to restrict Proteas to a score below 200 in the first innings but that was not the case to be. Elgar was in full concentration mode and was able to see the balls that were there to be hit and did not lose an opportunity to score. Dean Elgar was all at sea against the probing Kiwis bowlers in the second innings but he managed to bat longer and keep the probing Kiwis at bay. Yes , fourth dayhe again offered a chance in the second innings and as it happened in the first innings, it was floored. Kiwis were forced to pay for it as Proteas reached a safe zone at the efourth-dayplay and there was no play possible on the fifth day due to rain.
The test series between South Africa and New Zealand has started well and there are all the signs of more intense competition to come.The second test could be another keen affair with New Zealand looking to drive home advantage and South Africa looking to reinforce the tag of strong travelers.The performance of Dean Elgar is a strong positive for the South Africans.