Proteas

'Thick-skinned but caring' captain Elgar hopes to be even better leader

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Dean Elgar (Getty)
Dean Elgar (Getty)
  • Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar said he's not only grown a thicker skin, but is a more caring individual.
  • His thick skin came through in how he shepherded the Proteas through difficult positions in the successful Test series against India.
  • Elgar became the third post-isolation captain to win a three-match series from 1-0 down.

After what has been a testing period for the Proteas, their skipper Dean Elgar feels he's grown a thicker skin, while also being more caring.

Elgar had the satisfaction of helping mastermind a come-from-behind 2-1 Test series success against India that's helped claim the scalp of Virat Kohli.

Elgar, whose 96* was the cornerstone of South Africa's series-leveling second win Test at the Wanderers, felt he was still growing into his leadership role.

He needed the thick skin after Kohli kept at him with a sustained verbal attack on the third evening of the third Test SA ended up winning by seven wickets to win the series.

"My skin is pretty thick now when it comes to on-field matters and issues that value the team in a big way," Elgar said.

"I'd love to think I'm complimentary in how I deal with the different individuals in the team and that's something I may have lacked in my younger years.

"With a bit more experience, I may have gained those people skills that I lacked and I love to think it's something that I'll still work on.

"I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and bottle everything, but the better people skills have definitely helped my captaincy with being calmer."

An impressive part about South Africa's Test series success was the collective responsibility the team took to salvage dire situations.

There was always a player on hand to steer the team out of trouble, with Elgar saying the hard conversation post the first Test defeat created the environment for them to get better.

"It's guys taking responsibility and that ties into the conversations we were having in the team prior to the second Test," Elgar said.

"Soft dismissals and lapses of concentration hinder your series and that ultimately led to the loss in the first game.

"I'm very happy that the guys responded well. They responded to the respect that's given to the guys who have to fulfill those roles.

"It shows the characters in our team are willing to grow, they don't have egos and that's a great thing for me."

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