Mark Boucher hungry to transmit his knowledge to young people: Dean Elgar

MUMBAI: Before it ended, 2019 provided a positive side in the international cloud Cricket . South Africa, which was hit by India just a few months earlier, recovered and, against most expectations, beat England in 107 races in the first Test in Centurion.

In a year in which South Africa fell in the league stage at the World Cup in the summer, this victory brings a lot of hope to their fans when the hosts face England in the second Test, which begins in Cape Town to Starting Friday. “It was an important victory for us. We really haven't had the best test year. There were some difficult games that we played in the preparation of this series, so it was a good accumulation of characters for the children. Obviously, the hangover is still there. With luck, we can build on him, the South African opening batter Dean Elgar He told TOI in an exclusive interview from Cape Town.

It enabled the Proteas to log their first points on board in the World Test championship. “We are actually so far behind from the leaders at the moment, that we shouldn’t be worried about that. We should ultimately start focusing a little bit more on our team dynamics and what it means to still play for the side and hopefully, the wins will look after themselves. We would try to look after Cricket , so that Cricket can ultimately look after us!” he says with a chuckle.

Surely, some credit for this change in such a short time, you must go to the new support staff full of stars in the Proteas configuration: Graeme Smith is now the director of Cricket , Mark boucher is the coach and Jacques Kallis is the batting consultant. “They’ve obviously arrived in the group with a lot of credibility and respect. I’m going to remember it forever that I sat with these Cricket legends. They come in the change room and provide the environment with a lot of confidence,” he says, before explaining how he had already benefited from Boucher’s coaching skills at the Titans.

“I have been fortunate with Boucher, as he taught us at the Titans for threefour years. I know what he is about. He is one of the best Cricket ers to have ever played the game. He also brings a lot to the table with his experience. He has played international Cricket for 13-15 years and with that comes a lot of knowledge, and it seems as if he is really hungry to pass on that knowledge down to the younger players. He wants everyone to do well, which is awesome for us as young Cricket ers. It’s awesome to have these guys around. They provide a bit more clarity and make the environment a little bit more peaceful,” he explains.

A huge setback for the Proteas has been their top players migrating to England after being lured by Kolpak contracts. “I’m a realist when it comes to these topics (financial well-being). I have grown up with the Kolpak players, and have played against them in county Cricket . England are in a stronger position with Kolpak players there. I am not going to deny the fact that there are some serious Cricket ers there and that’s the reason why other countries would want to come and breach our system,” he says.

With the ICC deciding to make four-day Tests mandatory from 2023, there is a huge debate around whether time’s up for five-day Tests. Elgar, himself South Africa’s ‘Test specialist,’ bats for the traditional format to continue. “When it comes to Test Cricket , I’m a purist. We don’t play a lot of Tests that go into the fifth day anymore. I would like to think that Cricket ers out there still want to play the five-day version, because I would like to see a five-day Test. It’s an assimilation of what Cricket is,” he opines.