Centurion Dean Elgar praised debutant David Bedingham after day two of this week’s first Test against India at SuperSport Park.
Elgar moved to 140 not out and Bedingham struck 56, as South Africa collected 256 for five – and a 11-run lead – in response to India’s 245 all out.
Elgar and Bedingham shared a 131-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
“David is a hell of a player and an even nicer guy. He looked like a man who had played half a dozen Tests already – really calm and composed,” said Elgar.
“A guy like David looks like he’s a youngster, but he’s 29 years old, and he comes into the team with a lot of experience.
“He has done well home and away and making runs in Durham isn’t easy, but you can see he’s calm and has the experience of long-form cricket.
“It was important for both of us to have the mindset to score runs, not just to survive on a wicket like that. It flattened out a little bit in the afternoon, but there was still plenty of movement.”
This is Elgar’s penultimate Test. He will retire from international cricket after this series. This was his 14th Test century, second against India and first at SuperSport Park.
“I still want to perform and score Test centuries for my country. I scored 95 against Sri Lanka here and then buggered that one up, so it’s really pleasing to get it done,” he added.
“I don’t think there was a point to prove, I just want to still contribute and go out with a bang. In all honesty, I don’t really have anything to lose anyway.
“If I fail or succeed now, it’s coming to an end anyway. It’s up to me to get those performances in for the team and try to get us into a winning position.
“I want to try and win a Test match and series. There’s no turning back now. I just want to uphold the standards I set up for myself.”
Whether captain Temba Bavuma will participate in the remainder of this match remains in the balance. Bavuma injured a hamstring on day one.
“I’m not a doctor of a physiotherapist, but Temba is obviously struggling. He may need to take a cement pill and try to give us another 20 or 30 runs on one leg – that might be crucial,” concluded Elgar.