Teams Played For
Eagles, South Africa, Somerset, South Africa A, Knights, Titans, Surrey, Benoni Zalmi, Tshwane Spartans
An elegant left-handed top-order batsman, Dean Elgar is the current Test captain for the South Africa national team and has been a stalwart for the Proteas over the last decade.
Elgar started his playing career in the year 2005 for Free state, and in the same year, he bagged South Africa’s Country Districts 'Player of the Year' award.
An impressive domestic season led to Elgar flying to Sri Lanka to be a part of the Proteas team for the ICC U19 World Cup. The Welkom-born showed a lot of promise in his early cricketing days, however, it took him six more years to break into the South African national setup.
From the year 2006, until 2012, Elgar performed heavily in the domestic circuit and it was in 2011 when he was playing for the Knights that Elgar caught the selectors attention and was selected to be a part of South Africa 'A' team to face the visiting Lankans in a warm-up game.
The gritty southpaw made an instant impact with the bat, by scoring 78 runs, and as a result, was picked up for the One-Day leg of that series, but unfortunately had to withdraw his name from the squad due to injury.
The opener finally made his ODI debut against England in 2012, but his maiden appearance was marred by rain. Despite getting chances to settle into the ODI setup, Elgar couldn’t grab the chances with both hands. He did not fit into the ODI team predominantly due to his low strike rate and the inability to rotate the strike on a regular basis.
In the same year Down Under, Elgar received his maiden Test cap to play against the mighty Aussies. The batter had a mediocre series with the bat and things got worse when he bagged a pair in his third Test.
Finally, in the year 2013, Elgar went on to clinch his maiden ton against the Kiwis, and the retirement of Graeme Smith in 2014 allowed Elgar to solidify his position as South Africa’s number one choice opener in Test matches.
Elgar played one of his best Test knocks against Sri Lanka, scoring a gritty 103 in the scorching heat, against top quality Sri Lankan bowlers. He slowly started to build a reputation as an ‘ugly’ batter, who would grind for runs and get the shine off the ball, before the likes of AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis would take on the opposition.
Elgar’s resilience was again tested on the spinning track against India in the year 2015. South Africa lost that series, but Elgar was one of the rare bright spots for the Proteas. He even took 4 wickets with his left-arm spin on a turning Mohali wicket and gave a glimmer of hope to South Africa to pull off a miraculous victory.
The following year, Elgar scored 127 against Australia in Perth and stitched a 250 run partnership alongside JP Duminy. Records tumbled as it was the highest partnership recorded for South Africa in Perth, and also their second-highest partnership against the Aussies.
A year later, Elgar got a chance to captain his side against England at Lords, in the absence of the regular skipper, Faf du Plessis, however, South Africa lost that match heavily.
In 2018, the former Somerset and Surrey cricketer carried the bat for the entire innings for the third time in his career, as he scored an unbeaten 141 against Australia when the whole team was bundled out for 311. With this feat, he equalled the record with Desmond Haynes of West Indies.
In March 2021, Elgar was appointed as the new South Africa Test captain. The veteran had a long time desire to captain the national side.
The Titans' star has been a batting mainstay for the Proteas for over 7 years now. The elegant batsman is quick on his feet and has the ability to read the ball early and time it to perfection. He may not be the most attractive player on the field, but Elgar certainly has a dogged approach to his batting that helps him survive in tougher playing conditions.
(As of March 21)