Tue, 27 Jul 2021

  • Proteas coach Mark Boucher says the players are well on their way to understand what captain Dean Elgar wants out of them.
  • Dean Elgar has had a perfect start to his Test captaincy with a 2-0 series win against the West Indies.
  • Elgar made 77 in the first innings of the second Test which South Africa won by 158 runs in St Lucia.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher said the players understand the processes they need to follow to grow under Dean Elgar's leadership.

Elgar may have captained the Test side twice in a temporary capacity, but in his first full series as captain, collected a 2-0 rubber success against the West Indies.

Being the most experienced member of the team and also having debuted at a time of riches in South African cricket, Elgar has been at the coalface of the team's Test decline.

In the 2017 series that South Africa won in New Zealand, their last overseas success before Monday's 158-run against the West Indies in the second Test ended that miserable run, Elgar made big runs in the first Test of the series to give SA a foothold.

Keshav Maharaj then spun his magic in the second innings of the second Test, much like he did with his second innings hat-trick, to seal the series.

Boucher understands that being a world-class team doesn't happen overnight as the bulk of the New Zealand side they saw off four years ago is taking part in the World Test Championship final against India in Southampton.

But that the players are happy because of winning is something Boucher is pleased with.

"When you're winning, the team is always going to be smiling, but it's a process the guys have bought into," Boucher said.

"The guys really want to play for each other and we saw that. It's important that we carry on and understand that.

"You don't become the number one team in the world overnight. There's a process you need to follow, but we've started off well under Dean's leadership from a confidence perspective.

"I'm looking forward to the time where we get put under pressure and see how we respond as a unit. That's how we can judge where we really are."

Boucher says a conversation Elgar had with the team in Pretoria before they left for the West Indies has informed how they'll approach their red ball tasks under his leadership.

That the senior players contributed at different times in the series speaks to this.

"We sat around a fire in Pretoria where Dean asked a few questions about where we are and where we're going," Boucher said.

"Quite a few honest chats came out of that conversation and the guys bought into the kind of process that he wants to align his reign with.

"That's where he also stood back and said we're either in the bus or not and thankfully, everyone is on it.

"It doesn't just work when you're on the field, but a lot of effort has to be put in behind closed doors as well. It started at that fire and it's been about driving home those processes.

"The team looks happy at the moment and the results are showing."

Source: News24

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