Visakhapatnam: After playing a knock of 160 runs on day three of the first Test against India, South Africa opening batsman Dean Elgar on Friday said that this inning is his best hundred of his career so far.
His remarks came after the close of play on day three. South Africa ended the day at a score of 385/8, still trailing India by 117 runs.
"We have lost some senior players in the side, so I knew I had to step up. I have experience of playing worldwide, so I knew what we had to do. I would like to think that this is the best hundred that I have scored in my career," Elgar told reporters.
Elgar said that Proteas knew that the task would be tough as the pitch was deteriorating and looking at the attack of the Indian bowling lineup.
"We knew it was going to be tough. We knew we would be facing good bowlers on a deteriorating pitch. But I knew if we knuckle down, we would be able to show fight some fight and grit. We knew it was going to be hard work, some strong messages were given to us in the morning," Elgar said.
"In India, you are always up against it, they always come hard. If you allow yourself time, you will be able to score runs and get in a position like we are now," he added.
On day three, Elgar was involved in a 115-run stand with skipper Faf du Plessis and then he put up a partnership of 164 runs with Quinton de Kock to take South Africa in a position of safety.
"Faf and I bounce off each other. We have played a lot for the Proteas. We like batting together, we gel very nicely. With Quinny I know I can take my time, him and me compliment each other nicely. It is a combination of many things. I would like to think we had two nice moments--one partnership with Faf and another with Quinny," Elgar said.
The 32-year-old said that the Proteas' lineup has some young players and they should be given time and space to grow and mature.
"We have had a lot of trying times in the past, it was awesome to see some senior players stepping up for the side. I think the enviorment we have created is that we always want to do well. I have played five months of county cricket, I have played as many off-seasons as well and it has helped me in shaping up my batting," Elgar said.
"We are in a building phase. We have many new guys in the Test squad. We have a lot of characters within the side, they have played a lot of domestic cricket back home. We have youngsters, but you need to give them time. It is the responsibility of senior players to give them time and space to let them grow. young guys will always feed off the energy from senior pros," he added.
Elgar also gave insights on how he prepared to bat in spin friendly conditions and he also revealed that playing Ravichandran Ashwin in county cricket helped him a lot.
"I actually played Ashwin during county cricket. It was a good Test for me, this innings did not come by fluke, it came as I have done a lot of hard work. This innings was not by luck.I worked very hard for it," Elgar said.
Senuran Muthusamy and Keshav Maharaj will resume day four for South Africa on their overnight scores of 12 and 3 respectively....