Cape Town, Jan 14 (IANS) South Africa captain Dean Elgar said on Friday that there were hopes within the team that they could win the series. He was also extremely proud of his team 'responding brilliantly' after being 0-1 down and then making a comeback to clinch the series 2-1.
'Pretty elated, I think it will sink in in a day or two, maybe this evening. Couldn't be prouder of the group. The guys responded brilliantly. After the first loss, had a lot of hope knowing we can still win this,' said Elgar in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Elgar said that he asking the players to respond better in the next two matches at Johannesburg and Cape Town did the trick for them. 'Asked the players to respond in a better nature, better way and they responded brilliantly. Extremely happy. Challenging your players within the group, need character to stand up. The way our bowling unit delivered throughout the series is brilliant.'
'I threw down the challenge after the first game and the guys responded brilliantly. Got a young, talented group. Every day in this environment, we're gaining this experience. Unreal to see how a group that doesn't have the repertoire or names can gel together as one. Extremely proud of this group.'
Further talking about throwing the challenge to his players on performing well, Elgar remarked, 'If you want to operate at a high performance level, have to have tough chats. If guys don't like it, it's up to them to deal with. I've got old-school mentality with new-school twist. Laid down challenges to senior players as well, great to see them take it on board and deliver.'
Elgar signed off by saying that the hurt from the 113-run loss at Centurion fuelled South Africa to do well in the next two Tests. 'Would like to think I gave us the best message for us to go out and perform. Us as a close group, we've been hurting a little bit and it's something for us to feed off.'
'We played as a unit, if you can do that, if you have guys moving away, it's challenge to pull them in. I think as a unit, we've grown massively over the last two Tests. I'm already thinking of the next series. Lot of positives, but in order to grow, need to curb the challenges we have.'
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