Dean Elgar smashed his 12th ton and his first against India as South Africa fought hard in the Vizag Test against India. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Dean Elgar had endured a terrible run in the 2015 series against India which South Africa lost 0-3, falling regularly to Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Having managed a top score of 48 on the previous tour, Elgar overcame his troubles and notched up his maiden century against India and his 12th overall. Elgar shared a 115-run stand with South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, who smashed his 20th fifty. The left-hander was the only South African batsman who showed confidence on a pitch where Ashwin and Jadeja were getting plenty of purchase.
Elgar had begun confidently on the previous day with two boundaries off Ishant Sharma and on the second day, the batsman continued to bat confidently. He used his feet confidently to Ashwin and he launched him straight down the ground for a couple of boundaries. The confidence shown by Elgar rubbed off on du Plessis who got off the mark with back-to-back boundaries off Ashwin .
After notching up his fifty, Elgar was aggression and confidence personified. He blasted two sixes and a four in one over off Ravindra Jadeja but on 74, Elgar benefited from a life as he was dropped by Wriddhiman Saha off Jadeja. Elgar stayed disciplined and progressed smoothly through the eighties. He entered the 90s with a firm punch down the ground off Mohammed Shami as South Africa continued to make good progress.
However, the 115-run stand was broken when Ravichandran Ashwin got rid of du Plessis for 55 with the skipper inside-edging a flatter ball onto his pad and giving short leg a sharp catch. On 94, Elgar seized the moment as he mowed a flighted delivery off Ashwin into the stands at deep midwicket to notch up his landmark. The jubilations and the joy when he reached his landmark signified how important the century was for Elgar, who had endured mixed fortunes in the sub-continent in the last couple of years.
South Africa will be aiming to avoid the follow-on after Mayank Agarwal' fantastic double century and a blazing 176 from Rohit Sharma. The duo stitched a brilliant 317-run partnership for the opening wicket and it was the best stand in Tests between India and South Africa. The Proteas will be aiming to avoid a repeat of 2015 in which only a washout in the Bangalore test helped them avoid a 4-0 whitewash.