Home > Features >

Is Dean Elgar a worthy successor to Graeme Smith?

Dean Elgar put aside the void created by Graeme Smith with a ton against Sri Lanka © AFP
Dean Elgar put aside the void created by Graeme Smith with a ton against Sri Lanka © AFP

South Africa were left with a void after the retirement of Graeme Smith at the top of batting order. Rajarshi Majumdar looks at whether Dean Elgar’s ton makes him as the ideal replacement for Smith.

Dean Elgar is a left-handed top order batsman who made his Test debut for South Africa against Australia at Perth in November 2012. To everyone’s surprise he had a pair of ducks to his name in both innings.

After Elgar scored a century in the first innings at Galle on the eve of the first Test against Sri Lanka, all of a sudden there have been questions popping out whether he is a worthy successor to the former South African skipper Graeme Smith. In 2012, Elgar made it to the One-Day squad for South Africa but the faster format of the game did not suit him, and the arrival of Quinton de Kock did not help things either. In the same year, he was asked to join the Test squad in Australia as JP Duminy was injured and as mentioned above he did not make any impact at all.

Graeme Smith had been a colossus for South Africa. His batting averages may not be as high (though he has Bradmanesque averages in successful run-chases) as the legends of the game but the most significant achievement was the big turn-around of South Africa under his leadership.

He had succeeded Shaun Pollock after the failure in the 2003 Cricket World Cup and became the country’s youngest captain at the age of 22. This is like scripting one’s own story. In the same year registered the highest score by any foreigner at Lord’s (259). It seemed to be his fairy tale year, as he was the second South African and 12th overall to go past 9,000 runs in his 112th Test match. He was also the fastest South African to reach to complete 1,000 Test runs.

Smith also holds the world record of captaining South Africa for most Test matches (102 matches). He also holds the world record of highest number of wins in Test matches as a captain (50). The face of South African cricket changed over the years under his captaincy. He always led his team from the front. Opening the batting for his team was an add-on to his captaincy. He carried out his duties on both the shores successfully.

Now Dean Elgar has slipped into the big shoes of the opening batsman for South Africa in the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka. With this role can he live to up to all the expectations, as he has made a promising start to the series?

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Live Updates: IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal hearing in Supreme Court: BCCI is killing the game, says Supreme Court

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Australia vs South Africa 2014: AB de Villiers blames over-thinking for loss

Harbhajan Singh did fantastic job in correcting his action: Dave Richardson

Lalit Modi reveals he financed petitions against N Srinivasan and others

UAE, Afghanistan to face-off in four-match ODI series in Dubai

Supreme Court to N Srinivasan: Do not presume that you have a clean-chit

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: N Srinivasan increasingly cornered by Supreme Court’s observations

India vs Australia 2014: Are India as bad overseas as they are made out to be?

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here