'Love it!' Proteas skipper Elgar welcomes Indian sledging: 'They forgot about the game'

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Virat Kohli and Marais Erasmus (Gallo)
Virat Kohli and Marais Erasmus (Gallo)
  • Proteas skipper Dean Elgar said he loved how Indian captain Virat Kohli and players came at him on a heated third evening of the third Test at Newlands.
  • Elgar had been given out leg-before by umpire Marais Erasmus, but the decision was overturned.
  • The ball tracking technology left Kohli incensed and led to him and his players making their frustrations known to the stump microphone and Elgar.

There was a moment late on day three of the third and final Test between the Proteas and India on Thursday where visiting skipper Virat Kohli and his charges turned the heat up on their sledging. 

The catalyst was the controversial LBW decision that ultimately went against India, and for Proteas skipper Dean Elgar, off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin. 

Elgar was 22* at the time, and when he went forward to a delivery from Ashwin to play and miss, he looked to have been trapped dead in front. 

Umpire Marais Erasmus agreed, raising his finger as India celebrated. 

Elgar ambitiously reviewed, and when the DRS footage surprisingly showed the ball missing the top of the stumps, India were left dismayed. 

Then, Kohli got going

He spoke directly into the stump microphone, effectively accusing the host broadcaster of playing against his side. 

"Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball hey and not just the opposition," chirped Kohli, referencing the 2018 'Sandpapergate' scandal where cameras at Newlands caught the Australian side ball-tampering. 

"You're trying to catch people all the time."

Indian opener KL Rahul also chimed in after Kohli, stating that "the whole country is playing against 11 guys."

Elgar and Keegan Petersen were then exposed to a barrage of Indian sledging for the remainder of the day.

Elgar eventually fell for 30 on the final ball of the day, but the chirps aimed at Petersen continued into Thursday morning before the Proteas cruised home to claim a famous seven-wicket win that wrapped up the series. 

Speaking after the match, Elgar was asked for his views on the Indian sledging, particularly during the evening session of day three, and his response would not surprise anyone who has followed his career so far. 

"Love it," was Elgar's impactful response.

"It was obviously a team that was maybe under a little bit of pressure and things weren't going their way, like they have been quite used to of late.

"A bit of Test match cricket pressure, I would think.

"I think it gave us a little window period yesterday to score a bit more freely and chip away at the target we needed.

"I think it played nicely into our hands that, for a period of time, they actually forgot about the game, and they were challenging a bit more of the emotional side of what Test cricket has to offer.

"I was extremely happy that it happened that way, but be hat as it may, we still had to execute our skills yesterday and today with the bat knowing that the wicket was playing a little bit into the bowler's favour."

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