Sat, 17 Apr 2021

  • Dean Elgar has been confirmed as South Africa's new Test captain.
  • Director of cricket Graeme Smith has praised the 34-year-old's character and attitude.
  • Elgar will lead the Proteas until the end of the next Test Championship cycle in 2023.

There are few cricketers who display as much visible determination and grit as Proteas opener, and now Proteas Test captain, Dean Elgar.

The 33-year-old was on Thursday unveiled as his country's new skipper in the game's longest format.

It is a decision that makes the world of sense now that it is done, with a void in leadership having been felt ever since Faf du Plessis stepped down from the role last year.

Elgar is experienced, passionate, a thinking cricketer and, through performance, he has earned the respect of critics and peers over the years.

Addressing media on Thursday, Cricket South Africa's director of cricket opened up on the decision, emphasising that it had come as a result of lengthy discussions.

"We certainly haven't hidden the fact that we've been trying to find leaders. It's been a stressful period with lots of different challenges for cricket to deal with," Smith said.

"I think that everyone in a decision-making position wanted to be confident and get to a place where we had real clarity on who the right people might be to move forward with.

"Over time, I think it's become clearer that Dean is the right man in the Test format ... we feel it's the right time to back him."

Smith then spoke about Elgar's character, saying that he had all the right ingredients to lead. It was also important, Smith said, that Elgar was in the right frame of mind and ready to take on the role.

"I've played with Dean and known him a long time and I think he epitomises the character that we would like to see from our line-up," said Smith.

"There is no hiding from the fact that we need to improve as a cricket team and our results need to improve.

"Dean leaves everything on the field and I think tactically he will be there to support him. He's got great experience and he leads by example in the way he goes about his cricket.

"For Dean, as well, I think the time is right. He is ready, he wants the job and I think that's an important part of captaining.

"If you're a reluctant captain it does make it very hard and the job does come with a lot of scrutiny. He wants to take on the role and I think that's important."

The Proteas, who have slipped down to No 6 in the Test rankings after a 2-0 series loss to Pakistan, are only expected to play red ball cricket again towards the end of the year.

Source: News24

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