Elgar credits batting unit's confidence, momentum from Wanderers win for series triumph

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Proteas captain Dean Elgar
Proteas captain Dean Elgar
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • Proteas skipper Dean Elgar said momentum from their second Test success fed into their third Test triumph.
  • After losing the first Test by a wide margin, the Proteas won the second Test by seven wickets and won the third one by the same margin.
  • South Africa didn't cross 250 in the series, but chased down successive 200-plus  fourth-innings totals.

Proteas skipper Dean Elgar said momentum from their seven-wicket win against India at the Wanderers gave them the needed momentum to push through the third Test at Newlands on Friday afternoon.

The Proteas were consummately beaten in the first Test, but bounced back to win the second Test at the Wanderers where they pulled off their highest successful fourth-innings chase.

The 212 they chased down at Newlands wasn't as mighty or as record-breaking as the 243 at the Wanderers, but it was the third-highest successful fourth-innings chase at the picturesque Cape Town ground.

Elgar said there were times when they let India back in the matches, but they didn't relinquish their hard-earned momentum.

"You need momentum when you play in a tough series and when you have it and play against quality opposition, they're not going to give you much of a sniff," Elgar said.

"You must make the most of that sniff and work your backside off to ensure that momentum does not slip.

"The momentum did slip a few times in the series, but I think we were pretty well-oiled and professional in sniffing those moments.

"They became big moments and we played them out brilliantly, especially after gaining momentum from the Wanderers.

History will also record South Africa as the only team to have bounced back from a 1-0 series deficit to win a three-match rubber 2-1 without scoring more than 250 in all six of their innings.

SA's highest team total was the 243/3 at the Wanderers, but after the SuperSport Park batting implosion where the hosts didn't cross 200 in both digs, collective batting efforts ensured India were never allowed to get away.

Elgar admitted his batting group was short of confidence, but they rediscovered it the longer they dueled with India's quality bowling attack.

"Confidence is also something that jumps out now that I think about it, because we haven't had a lot of that," Elgar said.

"They were beatable and they're also human beings and we're also human beings playing a tough sport.

"You need to get that confidence from your setup, so we gain both facets from the win at the Wanderers."

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