West Indies bowling great Ian Bishop said that South Africa Test captain Dean Elgar and Sri Lanka Test skipper Dimuth Karunatne are the two understated openers in modern-day cricket.
South Africa bowled out India for 266 as Kagiso Rabada (3/77), Lungi Ngidi (3/43) and Marco Jansen (3/67) ran through their batting unit even though Hanuma Vihari led the team’s fightback with an unbeaten knock of 40.
India set the Proteas a target of 240 as their opener Aiden Markram, who has been under fire throughout the series, showed great intent as he stroked an array of boundaries against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
Makram seemed unstoppable with his free-flowing shots as he raced to 31 runs from 38 balls. Shardul Thakur, who nabbed seven wickets for India in the first innings, once again came to the team’s rescue as he trapped the South African opener before the wicket for LBW.
Keegan Petersen carried his form in the second innings as he built a partnership with his skipper Dean Elgar and smashed a couple of boundaries against Bumrah’s bowling. The right-handed batter was adjudged LBW off Ravichandran Ashwin’s sharp off-breaker.
Dean Elgar leads South Africa’s fightback against India
Elgar was playing the second fiddle in both the partnership and remained as a rock in front of the visitors as he played 121 balls and made 46 at the strike rate of 38.02.
Elgar also endured some sharp blows on his body, first Jasprit Bumrah hit his grille (on helmet) and in the next over Shardul Thakur crashed into his gloves before Mohammed Shami smacked another one on his shoulder.
But Elgar was determined to stay calm as one could see his face while he was being treated by his team’s physio, all he did was just wore a gentle smile on his face, to send a message across that he was ready to take more blows.
We’ve got to start appreciating Dean Elgar and Dimuth Karunaratne more: Ian Bishop
South Africa were 118/2 at the end of the gameplay of Day 3 as gritty Elgar walked alongside Rassie van der Dussen (11*) and will hope to take their side to the finishing line.
Bishop was surprised to see the Proteas just lose a couple of wickets against a lethal bowling attack of India.
“Have no idea how South Africa are 114 for 2 on that. We’ve got to start appreciating Dean Elgar and Dimuth Karunaratne more. Two of test cricket’s most understated, but bloody-minded openers of the last few years,” Bishop tweeted moments before the end of play on Day 3.
The Proteas need 122 runs more to win with Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen will resume their innings while India need eight wickets to clinch their first Test series win in South Africa.