Dean Elgar says there is room for 'hard chats' in the Proteas dressing room
With the Proteas coming off their worst ever season since re-admission into international cricket almost three decades ago‚ experienced left-handed opening batsman Dean Elgar has said there is room for “hard chats” in the SA dressing room.
The Proteas won only three of their eight completed games at last year’s Cricket World Cup in England‚ crashing out of contention for a place in the semi-finals with two of their league matches still to be played.
They followed that up with a dispiriting tour of India in October in which they were hammered 3-0 and twice lost by an innings.
Another Test series defeat‚ this time a 3-1 hammering at the hands of England at home‚ was the final nail in the Proteas coffin as they wrapped up a horrendous summer.
To be fair to the Proteas‚ the team was rocked by retirements of key players‚ injuries and a handful of players making their debuts.
Still‚ Elgar believes straight talk does not break a relationship but said caution has to be exercised when dealing with different characters within a dressing room.
“I think you have got to know your personnel or your teammates that you can hard chats with‚” said the 32-year-old who has a burning desire to captain the Proteas Test side.
“I mean sometimes you just got to sit around a table and express what you are feeling and sometimes people don’t like hearing the blunt truth and I think that is something that maybe we lack around the world.”
Elgar has been a glimmer of light during a dark Test period for the Proteas since the forgettable tour of India last October and carried his important contributions to the equally dispiriting home series defeat against England.
“It is always difficult to have the hard chats. But like I mentioned it is something that you need to trust where it is coming from‚ you need to have trust in a player or a coach that is giving you the hard chats.
“So there’s definitely room for that (hard chats). It is just the how and the who you are speaking to. You got to be a little bit sensitive to some guys and you got to bring your point across in a different manner‚” said the 32-year-old who enjoys his time away from cricket on the golf course
“You can still have hard chats without shouting and swearing for instance you can just say the right things and maybe it will be home.”
Elgar said he has been keeping busy with running and cycling during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
“It’s obviously taking up maybe an hour of your day but other than that I’ve just been at home.
“I would have been on the golf course a little bit more but with the lockdown rules and regulations in place‚ that was not possible. But yeah‚ I’ve just been at home doing the things that I have not been able to do when I am away playing cricket.”
Even if world cricket was not halted by Covid-19‚ Elgar said he would have stayed at home during the South African winter to recuperate instead of playing county cricket in the UK.
“Fortunately I decided to take this winter off from cricket. I’ve had five or six years of back to back cricket where I play in SA or internationally and obviously go play county cricket in the UK.
“So I decided to take some time out of the game and just do my own thing this winter‚ get the body back where it should be because after five to six years of constant playing the body does take some toll.
“It takes a toll on the travelling and on a lot of cricket that is being played.”