Castle Lager Proteas batsman, Dean Elgar, feels his nightmare debut against Australia in Perth over a year ago has made him into a better cricketer. Elgar top-scored for the Proteas with a hard fought and patient 83 on the opening day of the second Sunfoil Test at Axxess St George's on Thursday, and braved off a fired Australian attack brimming with confidence and form.
" A lot of positives came out of what happened," he said of his debut where he recorded a pair. " Its been nearly two years but i'd like to say that i've learnt a lot and developed into a more experienced batsman. I've been there before and i'll probably go through it again in my career."
Elgar opened the innings with Graeme Smith for the first time because of Alviro Petersen's withdrawal due to illness, and looked comfortable with the role he has played in for most of his first-class career.
" Im more at home opening the batting," he said. " I have done it for 90-odd first-class games and i dont think i've batted anywhere else. Hopefully that is a little extra motivation going forward."
The left-hander batted for 45 minutes before getting off the mark, and says it will be important for the Proteas to build a good first-innings total in conditions where scoring is a challenge.
"They bowled really well at that stage, i didn't even think they would give me sand in the desert," he said of the opening session. " They are a high-class bowling attack so i expected the relentless pressure. The wicket wasnt as nice coming onto the bat, especially against Siddle and Harris. I knew if i stayed there until lunch it would get a little easier, and it did but they kept the pressure on.
" There is a different brand of cricket that you have to play when you come to PE," he pointed out. " The patience game is one of the key points when you play at St George's."