South Africa have not enjoyed the current Test series in India, losing by big margins in the Vizag and Pune Tests to trail 0-2 down in the three-match series. For Dean Elgar, who had endured a nightmare tour in 2015, it has been a story of redemption as he became the first South African batsman in nine years to score a ton in India when he smashed 160 in Vizag. In the Pune Test, he looked confident and aggressive in his knock of 48 but just before lunch, he fell to Ravichandran Ashwin as the Proteas suffered a big loss.
Speaking ahead of the Ranchi Test match, Elgar said a tour to India was always a tour of self discovery. "It's a challenging tour. You get stretched as a person, you get stretched as a cricketer, I think you get to know yourself quite a lot as a person when you come to the smaller places where the hotels are maybe not as good, and you get challenged on the field. It's always a good learning curve coming to India," Elgar said.
India have now won four out of four Tests in the ICC World Test Championships, having won two in the West Indies and two against South Africa. India are the first teams to get to 200 points and they are 140 points ahead of New Zealand, who are second on 60 points. South Africa will be determined to get on the board, with points available for all matches, ruling out the possibility of a dead rubber.
"It's no secret that it's been a bit of a challenge for all of us. We haven't played our greatest cricket, consistent cricket. But we are trying to be positive. The senior players are trying to keep the guys motivated. We are still representing our country which is an immensely proud moment for every player. We still motivate everyone within our squad. It has been a challenging few weeks but it's still not too gloomy for us. We are upbeat, the morale in the camp is still very good. We still have one game and we can actually change quite a lot. We are still pretty hopeful and pretty positive going into the last Test," Elgar said.
The third and final Test between India and South Africa will be played at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi. This will be the second Test at the venue after the 2017 match between India and Australia which was drawn.