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Dean Elgar remains focused on series win ahead of farewell Test

Last updated on 03 Jan 2024 | 06:43 AM
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Dean Elgar remains focused on series win ahead of farewell Test

The southpaw will lead the side in his final Test at Newlands in the absence of the injured Temba Bavuma

Dean Elgar says that the only thing he cares about is to win the series against India. He will lead in his farwell Test against India at Newlands, Cape Town, and is determined to walk away with a 2-0 victory.

A comfortable win in the first Test in Centurion means South Africa cannot lose the series, but Elgar says his side will go all out for a victory.

"I only play the game to win," Elgar said on the eve of his final Test. 

"I don't care about stats. I care about wins. I care about series wins. That's the greatest memories you can ever share with your team, everyone that has got an influential role in the background. Test series wins - you don't top that. Maybe a World Cup win is up there. I have never had that opportunity but this is my World Cup. This is my arena where I want to win."

Elgar, who will play his 86th and final Test will lead the Proteas in the format for the 18th time. He stood down as the Test captain 11 months ago, paving way for a new era under Temba Bavuma. However, now, fate has handed him an opportunity to have a fairytale ending.

"I don't think you get a bigger accolade or bigger credit than to be asked to captain. I did it in the past for a year-and-a-half or whatever it was and it has been the best learning experience for me as an individual - not just from a cricketing point of view but off-field stuff," he said. 

"I give my 100% whether I am playing or captaining and I am going to have that mentality going into this game. For me, it's about showing the right ways for the younger players and hopefully that catches on."

While Elgar believes that there is no bigger honour than captaining your country, but reckons doing so against India adds a big of flavour.

"There's no bigger honour than to captain your country irrespective of who you are playing against but being against India adds more flavour. India is the powerhouse nation in the world and we are in a situation where I can influence and try to get a 2-nil win," the southpaw said.

Elgar also says that there has been no talk of drawing the series going into the Test. "We are in a fortunate position knowing that we can't lose the series but drawing is maybe as big as a loss for us," he said. 

"It's a massive Test for us, being our highlighted Test of the year. The New Year's Test at Newlands, they don't get much bigger and better, against really tough opposition. Playing the New Year's Test is big for guys and they are going to have a lot of firsts so we want them to just live in that moment but be mindful of the opportunity of winning 2-nil. Drawing the series is not something we are thinking about at all."

With plenty of first-choice players missing the Test tour of New Zealand due to the SA20, Elgar says that the change in landscape played no part in him announcing his retirement. "One thing people need to understand is that I made my decision long ago," he said. 

"A couple of months ago, I chose this to be my last series, irrespective of what is happening behind the scenes. I made my bed and I am sleeping in it quite nicely."

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