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Dean Elgar, Captain of the Proteas bats during the 2022 Betway 1st Test between South Africa and Bangladesh at Kingsmead Stadium on April 3 2022. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGE PIX
Dean Elgar, Captain of the Proteas bats during the 2022 Betway 1st Test between South Africa and Bangladesh at Kingsmead Stadium on April 3 2022. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGE PIX

Proteas captain Dean Elgar advised Bangladesh to toughen up and focus on the game as the battle lines were drawn ahead of the second Test at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Friday.

Complaints of biased umpiring and “unbearable” sledging were levelled against the Proteas by the visitors after their heavy 220-run defeat in the first Test in Durban last week. An official complaint was lodged with the International Cricket Council.

Elgar said his side still have respect for Bangladesh but they were only giving back what they had received. They were returning the fire the Proteas had to endure while they were batting and was adamant there was no disrespect intended towards their opponents.

The visitors were furious after several close calls went against them in Durban, where they were competitive for most of the match before a batting collapse saw them dismissed for 53 in the second innings. They have since taken issue with their opponents for on-field taunts they said crossed the line. 

“I don’t think those claims are justified, especially against the SA side. We play the game hard and we were just giving back what we had received when we were batting,” Elgar said on Thursday.

“This is Test cricket, it is a man’s environment when it comes to playing at this level, and I still intend to play the game hard. By no means did we swear or use foul language towards the Bangladeshi players, because we still respect them in that nature.

“I just think they need to harden up and play the game at a level that they might not be used to,” Elgar said in the prematch virtual conference.

“The umpiring was tough. I don’t think the wicket helped, especially with the invariable bounce, which can maybe challenge umpires’ decisions and I am sure there are discretions that can be interpreted differently,” he added.

“I feel for them [Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock], because they are actually good umpires.

“The human factor needs to be spoken about here because they are human beings after all and they do make mistakes, as do the players, so I am pretty sure they will learn a lot from that,” the Titans man explained.

Looking ahead to the second Test, Elgar said while there were still a few hours to make the final decision, he did not foresee any changes to the side that played in the Kingsmead Test.

“I think if you want to have success in the Test arena or international cricket, you have to keep some sort of consistency going.

“Playing in PE [Port Elizabeth], the conditions are pretty much similar to what we had in Durban, and viewing the wicket they have prepared, it does almost say that we might go in with the same kind of structure, but we still have a few hours to decide what we will go with,” Elgar said.

While the spinners shone in Durban, Elgar was confident that his seam attack could play a key role in the outcome of the second clash and potentially decide the series if conditions were favourable.


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