Dean Elgar and South Africa concluded a tough six months of Test cricket. After starting well under Elgar's leadership with series wins over India, Bangladesh and a series draw in New Zealand, they lost four Tests in a row -- two each to England and Australia -- to submit the respective series.
They were saved by bad weather in the third and final Test against Australia where they were asked to follow-on after being dismissed for 255 in the first innings. They managed to save the match, thanks to opener Sarel Erwee's vigil of 42 not out on the final day.
Despite breaking their loss streak at the SCG on Sunday after disappointing losses, Elgar has not lost confidence in the team yet as he felt that their batting showed more fight in the third Test.
"After the second game those two words would have been a lot stronger but after showing a hell of a lot of fight and some really positive signs in this game, it is sitting a lot better with me. Maybe I have had a week to get over the hurt and embarrassment and maybe that's why it's a little bit easier to speak about now," Elgar said after the match.
Elgar himself is going through a lean patch. Since August last year, the opener has scored only 163 runs from 11 innings with his highest score being 47. With South Africa left with two more Tests in this World Test Championship, he is still driven to lead the Proteas.
"We've got two (Tests) and then potentially a lot of time off for myself for some gully cricket. Then the pressure is off a little bit. But, I enjoy the pressure. If (I was) scoring runs now, it would have been a lot easier to say yes, but obviously you've got to go into it and ask yourself those questions and I have. I still have the hunger and drive, no doubt," he said.
"All round, it's extremely frustrating. I have actually been batting well, my build-up has been good. There's been times where I have batted worse and I've actually got the performances, which is the ironic thing about this game," he added about his batting.
Elgar also spoke on length about the structure of domestic red-ball cricket in South Africa and their Test schedule which has weakened the team. He said he is not thinking about a possible overhaul of the team.
"I think you just have to be honest. Emotion is also part of our DNA. We are also human beings and we are allowed to show that. We are an immensely proud nation and we play to win. When things don't go your way, those kinds of things flow through your veins," he said.