Proteas Test batter Dean Elgar has announced that his retirement will retire from international cricket after the Test series against India.

Elgar will fittingly end his international career with the two Test matches. The first to be played at his home ground, SuperSport Park, Guateng from 26-30 December. The second at the venue where he scored his first Test runs, Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, from 03-07 January.

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The 36-year-old has represented South Africa in 84 Tests and eight One-Day Internationals during a career that has spanned 12 years.

Since making his Test debut against Australia in 2012, he has gone on to score over 5000 runs at an average of 37.28. Including 13 centuries and a career-best 199 against Bangladesh in 2017.

His contributions with the bat and gritty performances earned him the role of Test captain from May 2021 – January 2023, where he led the side to third place in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship with a notable 2-1 series win over India at home in January 2022.

Dean Elgar announces retirement from international cricket
Dean Elgar


DEAN ELGAR ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT FROM CRICKET   

“Playing the game of cricket has always been a dream of mine. But having the opportunity to represent your country is the ultimate. Having had the privilege to do it for 12 years internationally is simply beyond my wildest dreams. It has been an incredible journey that I have been fortunate enough to have,” said Elgar.

“As they say, ‘all good things come to an end’, and the Indian home series will be my last, as I have made the decision to retire from our beautiful game.

“A game that has given me so much. The Cape Town Test will be my last. My favourite stadium in the world. A place I scored my first Test run against New Zealand and hopefully my last too.”

“Having the opportunity to represent my country and the learnings I’ve had along my journey is something I’ll always be thankful for. It’s most definitely been the best learning experience of my life.”

Proteas captain Dean Elgar says pride and the opportunity to still qualify for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final are two major driving factors. This as the Proteas prepare to face Australia in the third and last Test of their series in Sydney starting on Wednesday.

The clash at the SCG is a dead rubber after the hosts won the first two matches of the series. All that the South Africans can now hope for is a consolation victory. Although a win will also keep them alive in the hunt for a place in that WTC decider later this year.

Elgar and his charges are presently placed fourth behind the Australians, India and Sri Lanka. A win for the home side in Sydney will guarantee them a place in the final.

PROTEAS GEAR UP FOR AUSTRALIA

“There’s plenty to play for,” the Proteas skipper told the media ahead of the game.

“We’re playing for pride, we’re playing for a potential place in the WTC final. So we’ve also got a lot to play for.

“That’s a massive incentive for us and for me you play every Test match like it’s your last. Hopefully we can put on a better spectacle this time. We always want to play good Test cricket and be a thorn in the side of the opposition. We’ll be aiming to be better again this time.”

Temba Bavuma of the Proteas
Temba Bavuma of the Proteas

DISAPPOINTING BATTING SO FAR

South Africa has been disappointing with the bat throughout the series, especially the top order. Barring some exceptions like Kyle Verreynne and Temba Bavuma, Elgar believes the batters need to be far better in this game.

“You can’t hide in Test cricket and the top five. We obviously need to find a way to deal with and negate the demands of batting discipline in Test cricket.”

Theunis de Bruyn will miss the match due to a paternity leave. This means there will be at least one change to the line-up.

“I think Kyle’s been brilliant for us at six and moving him around I don’t think is going to help us or help him at all and I don’t think it’s fair.”

Proteas captain Dean Elgar has described the opportunity to play in Australia as ‘surreal’ and a ‘privilege’. This as the first Test at The Gabba in Brisbane looms Saturday morning.

The two teams begin their three-match series on Saturday with the visitors hoping to build on their outstanding red-ball record Down Under where they have won their last three series.

Addressing the media at his pre-match briefing on Friday, skipper Elgar spoke about the significance of the series and what was needed to overhaul the Australians in their own country.

DEAN ELGAR READY

“(It takes) a lot of courage (to win in Australia),” he said. “You have to have the mindset of playing to win. It’s kind of something that I’ve been speaking at length about within our group, within our squad.

“Australia’s a really tough place to play cricket but it’s also such a rewarding place to play if you can get things right. You’ve got to take your opportunities and that kind of ties in with general Test cricket around the world.

“Playing Test cricket in Australia is such a privilege and you’ve got to go beyond what you’re used to. You have to actually savour the moment, it’s massive, and the legacy and history with South African cricket and Australian cricket is so rich. And we’re just another talented group that can achieve something great in the future.”

PROTEAS EXPERIENCE IN GABBA

South Africa have little experience playing at the famous Gabba. The only time they played there post-isolation was in 2012 when they drew with the hosts. That inexperience there is a good thing, according to Elgar.

“I must say we don’t have any dirty laundry when it comes to playing at the Gabba because we haven’t played here yet,” he explained. “So as a group we’re pretty fresh and pretty unique to the surroundings. The history here is obviously not in our favor and that’s okay.

“We have a young group and also an experienced group, so I think the fact that we haven’t had any failures here, it might work in our favor. So we’re looking forward to the opportunity, it’s almost like a surreal moment for us. We’ve been here for two weeks; we’ve been waiting a bit for this moment and we’re looking forward to getting going.”

Proteas v Australia
Proteas v Australia

The Proteas batting has come under scrutiny in the recent past after they experienced a difficult time playing in tough conditions in England earlier in the year. Elgar admitted it was time for the batters to put up their hands up with strong performances in the series.

“I think all the batters have to stand up,” he added. “It’s been a bit of a talking point that’s surrounded our batting unit of late. Again I’ve never shied away from it and it’s time for the boys to rise up. It’s time for myself personally to really put my hand up and make a massive call and make a massive play for us.

“In saying that we have a really talented group, they’re just a little bit inexperienced when it comes to Test cricket. But that’s okay. They don’t have a lot of baggage again coming into this series. They’re massively talented and they just need to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way,” concluded Elgar.

A century by captain Dean Elgar helped the Proteas make a positive start to their tour to Australia with a strong performance on the opening day of their only warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Brisbane starting on Friday.

After winning the toss and batting at The Allan Border Field, the Proteas reached the close on 335 for seven. The skipper leading from the front with his 109 (186 balls, 9 fours). There was also an attacking unbeaten half-century from Kyle Verreynne, who struck a free-flowing 76 off 86 balls (13 fours, 1 six).

There were starts from several other batters too, with 25 coming from the bat of Sarel Erwee, 27 by the fit again Rassie van der Dussen and 34 through Keshav Maharaj – the tourists ensuring they enjoyed a productive opening to the three-match Test tour in Queensland.

The match is not classified as a first-class game allowing for the Proteas management to give everyone in the squad a chance to play. Khaya Zondo (18), Theunis de Bruyn (13), Simon Harmer (5) and Kagiso Rabada (2*) were amongst the others to bat on day one.

Proteas v Australia-XI
Proteas v Australia-XI

Temba Bavuma, however, did not bat as a precaution due to discomfort felt in his left elbow. However, South Africa’s limited-overs captain is expected to bat in the second innings of the four-day encounter. The first Test of the series is scheduled to take place at The Gabba from 17-21 December.

PROTEAS TEST SQUAD AGAINST AUSTRALIA

Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lizaad Williams (Momentum Multiply Titans), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).

South Africa Test Tour to Australia Itinerary

Four-day Tour Match

09 – 12 December

Cricket Australia XI vs South Africa – The Allan Border Field, Brisbane

 Tests

17 – 21 December

Australia vs South Africa – The Gabba, Brisbane

26 – 30 December

Australia vs South Africa – MCG, Melbourne

 04 – 08 January

Australia vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney