Elgar warns England 'I didn't come here to play second fiddle'

By Sports Desk August 15, 2022

Dean Elgar is determined to "throw a bit more respect into the badge" when South Africa face "beatable" England in a three-match Test series.

The Proteas have won three and drawn one of their past four series in the longest format, including a 2-1 victory over India.

South Africa are also sitting pretty at the top of the World Test Championship table and are third in the rankings ahead of an opening match against Ben Stokes' side that starts at Lord's on Wednesday.

England have enjoyed a dream start to a new era with Stokes as captain and Brendon McCullum head coach, whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 and beating India in a rearranged Test to draw the series 2-2.

Yet visiting captain Elgar is backing the tourists to maintain the momentum and bring England back down to earth.

The opening batter said: "I don't play to lose. I absolutely despise losing. And if we play an average brand [of cricket], or we're not putting our best foot forward, and we don't have results going our way, then that affects me quite a bit.

"This is a massive series for all of us. I think we've got 17 players and it's massive for all 17 of us to go out there, play a brand of cricket that appeals to South Africans and ultimately gives us the best chance of winning in England. We've seen it happen in the past before, so we know it can be done."

Elgar says South Africa will not cross the line with the verbals, but expects words to be exchanged in the middle.

"In the heat of battle, there's always something that comes out," he said. "Let's put it that way. I just want to play three really, really hard Test matches and go out there and put the badge on the line and throw a bit more respect into the badge."

He added: "We played against the best in the world last year [India, who were top of the rankings at the time], and I think we did things that we didn't quite expect to do at that time.

"So the standard that we've set and the bar that we've raised since last year has happened pretty naturally just out of us doing good things on the field again.

"It's gonna be a tough series, no doubt. They are a proud cricketing nation and I respect that. But I know they are definitely beatable. I didn't come here to play second fiddle. I came here to win a series."

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