Impending retirement spurs Dean Elgar to emotive Test ton – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The impending freedom of retirement from the Test arena provided South Africa opener Dean Elgar with the space to deliver one of his finest innings, contributing an unbeaten 140 that granted the hosts an 11-run lead over India after Day 2 of the first Test at Centurion on Wednesday.
Just last week, the 36-year-old declared his intention to retire from international cricket after the two-Test series.Elgar expressed that having made this decision, he felt he had little to lose, especially as the home side concluded the day at 256-5 in response to India’s first innings total of 245.
“I wanted to play with a bit of freedom,” Elgar said at the close of play after a knock of 211 balls that included 23 fours and saw him celebrate with gusto as he reached the milestone.
Having made his Test debut in 2012 and accumulated 84 Test matches since, Elgar expressed confidence heading into the contest against the highly-rated Indian team, citing a strong performance in the domestic season as a key factor.
“I know people say it’s only domestic cricket and you still have to do the time in the middle but I’ve been in some really good form with the bat coming into the series and I was pretty confident. I don’t have a lot to lose now, do I? It’s my last series and I want to play with a bit of freedom.”
Elgar said that with the shackles off he felt freer. “But I still want to perform, I still want to contribute to the side and still want to get us into winning positions, still want to score test hundreds. Today the luck was all on my side.”
It was a 14th Test century for Elgar but the first at his home ground.
“It’s the one place where I’ve really wanted to score a Test ton. I got 95 against Sri Lanka, buggered that one up and I thought today luck is on my side so I need to try and cash in and I’m extremely proud of it,” he said.
Elgar reached his century after lunch and said the pitch had eased off a little as the day wore on.
“Yes, obviously once you get in but you’ve got to earn that right, getting through 30 overs and the new ball,” he added.
“It was moving around but definitely got a little bit easier after lunch and I came out with a little bit more positive intent, looking to score.
“I think you have to have that mindset of looking to score on a wicket like this. You’ve got to try and capitalise where you can.”
(With Reuters Inputs)


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