Elgar prepares for battle with Stokes – The Citizen

Rain wiped out last year’s second day Boxing Day match against India at Centurion, and while tourists enjoyed a lunchtime feast of broccoli soup, chicken Chettinad and lamb chops, Proteas captain Dean Elgar was giving his team some of his famous hard love after a poor first day.

After allowing India to climb 273/3 on the first day on a field that assisted the pacemen, Elgar told his team to “strengthen mentally, take responsibility and put on the boyish pants”.

South Africa reacted, but that first day in the end it had done too much damage. Their determination, however, made them the most tenacious opponents of the rest of the series and they achieved a completely unexpected series triumph.

He is the kind of inspirational captain that Elgar has become famous for and he believes in that of England the new skipper Ben Stokes they will conduct similarly when they host the Proteas in a series of tests in August.

England captain Ben Stokes
England captain Ben Stokes loses his hat during a county game. Image: Getty Images

“I wouldn’t call him a ‘stubborn’ captain, but I’d say we’re both fucking tough cricketers,” Elgar said Wednesday.

“It will be a battle of exuberant characters and Stokes is a world-class cricketer, and we know what he is capable of because he has done quite well against us, even if only as a player.

“But as a captain you have to get the best out of your players and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the added responsibility.

“We play with our hearts on our sleeves because we always want to push for victory, but Test cricket depends on who is in control of their emotions best. If you let them get the better of you, the results generally don’t go well. “

LOOK: Ben Stokes talks about his new role as England Test captain

Elgar and Stokes are both left-handed hitters, but their contrasting styles are very much the yin and yang of Test cricket.

Stokes is immensely strong and provides plenty of offensive push to the English middle order, while Elgar, as an opening hitter, doesn’t play with the same freedom but the time he spends in the crease can be just as draining for opponents.

Both Stokes and Elgar have played 12 tests since the start of 2021, with the new England captain scoring just 633 points with an average of 26.37.

Elgar, on the other hand, has been in the lead since his appointment, with 881 points at an average of 41.95.

“I don’t dwell too much on individual battles. My focus is on us as a team, ”Elgar said.

“And I haven’t had a lot of personal interactions with Ben, even though we’ve played against each other numerous times since an SA A Series against the England Lions in 2015.”