Dean Elgar © Getty Images
Dean Elgar © Getty Images

Dean Elgar has his way of piling runs on the board. He is a tentative starter who often gets beaten in the early overs. His bat turns in his hand at times, but he manages to check his shot at the last moment to surpass the slips. In addition, he cops nasty blows and looks uncomfortable for most parts. Nonetheless, what he does best is to move on quickly despite all hindrances and apply his mind fully while taking guard for the next ball. As a result, Elgar became the first South African, and only second overall, to carry his bat thrice in Test cricket. Elgar joins Desmond Haynes in this rare feat. Elgar got to the personal milestone, courtesy an unbeaten 141, during Day Two of the third Test versus Australia at Cape Town.

Player Runs Total % Team Against Venue Season Runs Count
Bernard Tancred 26* 47 55.3% South Africa England Newlands 1888-89 26 1
Jack Barrett 67* 176 38.1% Australia England Lord’s 1890 67 1
Bobby Abel 132* 307 43.0% England Australia SCG 1891-92 132 1
Plum Warner 132* 237 55.7% England South Africa Old Wanderers 1898-99 132 1
Warwick Armstrong 159* 309 51.5% Australia South Africa Old Wanderers 1902-03 159 1
Billy Zulch 43* 103 41.7% South Africa England Newlands 1909-10 43 1
Warren Bardsley 193* 383 50.4% Australia England Lord’s 1926 193 1
Bill Woodfull 30* 66 45.5% Australia England Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 1928-29 30 1
Bill Woodfull 73* 193 37.8% Australia England Adelaide Oval 1932-33 73 2
Bill Brown 206* 422 48.8% Australia England Lord’s 1938 206 1
Len Hutton 202* 344 58.7% England West Indies The Oval 1950 202 1
Len Hutton 156* 272 57.4% England Australia Adelaide Oval 1950-51 156 2
Nazar Mohammad 124* 331 37.5% Pakistan India University Ground, Lucknow 1952-53 124 1
Frank Worrell 191* 372 51.3% West Indies England Trent Bridge 1957 191 1
Trevor Goddard 56* 99 56.6% South Africa Australia Newlands 1957-58 56 1
Jackie McGlew 127* 292 43.5% South Africa New Zealand Kingsmead 1961-62 127 1
Conrad Hunte 60* 131 45.8% West Indies Australia Queen’s Park Oval 1964-65 60 1
Glenn Turner 43* 131 32.8% New Zealand England Lord’s 1969 43 1
Bill Lawry 49* 107 45.8% Australia India Kotla 1969-70 49 1
Bill Lawry 60* 116 51.7% Australia England SCG 1970-71 60 2
Glenn Turner 223* 386 57.8% New Zealand West Indies Sabina Park 1971-72 223 2
Ian Redpath 159* 346 46.0% Australia New Zealand Eden Park 1973-74 159 1
Geoff Boycott 99* 215 46.0% England Australia WACA 1979-80 99 1
Sunil Gavaskar 127* 286 44.4% India Pakistan Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad 1982-83 127 1
Mudassar Nazar 152* 323 47.1% Pakistan India Gaddafi 1982-83 152 1
Sidath Wettimuny 63* 144 43.8% Sri Lanka New Zealand Lancaster Park 1982-83 63 1
David Boon 58* 103 56.3% Australia New Zealand Eden Park 1985-86 58 1
Desmond Haynes 88* 211 41.7% West Indies Pakistan Karachi 1986-87 88 1
Graham Gooch 154* 252 61.1% England West Indies Headingley 1991 154 1
Desmond Haynes 75* 176 42.6% West Indies England The Oval 1991 75 2
Alec Stewart 69* 175 39.4% England Pakistan Lord’s 1992 69 1
Desmond Haynes 143* 382 37.4% West Indies Pakistan Queen’s Park Oval 1992-93 143 3
Mark Dekker 68* 187 36.4% Zimbabwe Pakistan Rawalpindi 1993-94 68 1
Michael Atherton 94* 228 41.2% England New Zealand Lancaster Park 1996-97 94 1
Gary Kirsten 100* 239 41.8% South Africa Pakistan Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad 1997-98 100 1
Mark Taylor 169* 350 48.3% Australia South Africa Adelaide Oval 1997-98 169 1
Grant Flower 156* 321 48.6% Zimbabwe Pakistan Bulawayo 1997-98 156 1
Saeed Anwar 188* 316 59.5% Pakistan India Eden Gardens 1998-99 188 1
Marvan Atapattu 216* 428 50.5% Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Bulawayo 1999-00 216 1
Russel Arnold 104* 231 45.0% Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Harare 1999-00 104 1
Javed Omar 85* 168 50.6% Bangladesh Zimbabwe Bulawayo 2000-01 85 1
Virender Sehwag 201* 329 61.1% India Sri Lanka Galle 2008 201 1
Simon Katich 131* 268 48.9% Australia New Zealand The Gabba 2008-09 131 1
Chris Gayle 165* 317 52.1% West Indies Australia Adelaide Oval 2009-10 165 1
Imran Farhat 117* 223 52.5% Pakistan New Zealand Napier 2009-10 117 1
Rahul Dravid 146* 300 48.7% India England The Oval 2011 146 1
Tino Mawoyo 163* 412 39.6% Zimbabwe Pakistan Bulawayo 2011 163 1
David Warner 123* 233 52.8% Australia New Zealand Bellerive Oval 2011-12 123 1
Cheteshwar Pujara 145* 312 46.5% India Sri Lanka SSC 2015 145 1
Dean Elgar 118* 214 55.1% South Africa England Kingsmead 2015-16 118 1
Kraigg Brathwaite 142* 337 42.1% West Indies Pakistan Sharjah 2015-16 142 1
Alastair Cook 244* 491 49.7% England Australia MCG 2017-18 244 1
Dean Elgar 86* 177 48.6% South Africa India New Wanderers 2017-18 86 2
Dean Elgar 141* 311 100.0% South Africa Australia Newlands 2017-18 311 3

Elgar scored 45.3 per cent of runs during South Africa‘s 311 in the ongoing Cape Town Test. He added two vital stands with Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers. The striking fact of his innings was that he found the middle of the bat since the beginning, and looked swifter — even more than de Villiers. From 254 for 7, Elgar’s stubborn resistance pushed the total beyond 300.

Earlier, Elgar had carried his bat against England (in 2017) and India (in January). Before him, Haynes had achieved this feat; twice against Pakistan and once versus England. The ones who have attained this feat twice are Glenn Turner, Bill Lawry, Bill Woodfull and Len Hutton.

Elgar’s quote before the ongoing Test

“It’s been a little bit frustrating. I actually feel that I’m batting nicely. I’m getting through all the tough parts and I’m letting myself down with silly, stupid and uncharacteristic kind of dismissals,” Elgar told ESPNCricinfo.

Quite a turnaround, right?