Elgar throws 'hands and feet' up for ODIs

Dean Elgar (Gallo Images)
Dean Elgar (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - In a series where ball dominated bat, Dean Elgar's return of 308 runs from his five innings against Sri Lanka was impressive. 

Those runs included one century and two half-centuries and they were enough to secure him the man-of-the-series award on Saturday ahead of Kagiso Rabada (19 wickets) and Vernon Philander (17 wickets). 

Elgar acknowledged after receiving the award that this was his best series as a Protea and now, after 32 Test matches, he is South Africa's premier opening batsman in the format. 

But, can Elgar offer anything to the Proteas in limited overs cricket? 

He has played just six ODIs, with five of those coming in England in 2012 while the other was in 2015 against India in Mumbai. 

His numbers in the format are not great - he has scored just 98 runs at an average of 24.5 - but Rilee Rossouw's South African exit to join Hampshire on a Kolpak deal means that there is one less obstacle standing in the way of an Elgar return. 

Even with Rossouw gone, however, the Proteas ODI top order looks pretty congested. 

Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers and David Miller are likely to make up the top six while the likes of Farhaan Behardien, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius are also looking for places. 

Still, Elgar feels he has a lot to offer in the shorter format.

"There’s nothing wrong with my technique for one-day cricket," he said after South Africa's innings and 118-run win in the third Test in Johannesburg.

"I very much still want to play one-day cricket, and think I have something to offer, especially with my bowling. In Test cricket I can’t offer my bowling as I can in white-ball cricket.

"I am throwing both hands and both feet up; I want to play one-day cricket. I know opportunities might come with guys leaving and so be it."

Elgar added that, because of his presence in the Proteas Test squad, he doesn't get to play a lot of domestic 50-over cricket.

"It’s difficult when I tour a lot," he said.

"I’ve missed two years of domestic one-day cricket so it’s difficult to turn out the numbers and stats that people are looking for.

"But in saying that, I still get to play Test cricket for SA which is the format that everyone wants to play. I’m all-in for one-day cricket still."

Despite being the leading run-scorer in the series, Elgar was still not completely satisfied with his return. 

"As a cricketer you are never going to be fully satisfied even if things go well," he said.

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