Cape Town - Proteas opening batsman Dean Elgar revealed that he was shocked after Morne Morkel announced his retirement from cricket.
Morkel dropped a bombshell on Monday when he announced his retirement from all international cricket following the four-match Test series against Australia.
The 33-year-old has played 83 Tests, 117 One-Day Internationals and 44 T20 Internationals in a successful career spanning 12 years.
Morkel has taken 294 Test wickets for the Proteas and is six wickets short of the elusive 300 club.
Leading up to the first Test at Kingsmead, Elgar stated that the Proteas were stunned by the sudden retirement of the lanky fast bowler.
"I think my reaction is quite mutual in the team, it was a bit of a shock," Elgar told reporters.
"You don't expect a guy to be retiring so soon. I know he's been playing professional cricket for 12 years but I'm sure every individual would still feel he has got a lot more to give but be that as it may, we respect his decision.
"He has provided South African cricket 12 years of unbelievable professionalism in the side and I'm sure the hard work on and off the field has done him a massive credit," said Elgar.
The first Test between the Proteas and Australia starts in Durban on Thursday (10:00).