South African opening batsman Dean Edgar, whose gritty 127, along with JP Duminy’s knock of 141, in the second innings of the ongoing Perth Test has paved the way for a remarkable victory for the tourists, claimed that the sledging from the Australian players, which has often served as a tool for rattling the opposition for the hosts, served as a source of motivation for him during his knock.
Elgar scored his fourth Test ton on the very same ground where he had a nightmarish debut in the longest format of the game being dismissed for a couple of ducks and the 29-year-old left-handed batsman admitted that the Australians were not going to let him forget that match. However, he was more than happy to knock the demon off his back with his century and in some style too.
Elgar failed to make a meaningful contribution in the first innings getting dismissed for 12, but he said that getting himself off the mark at Perth was vital in helping him build his confidence when he came out to bat second time around.
"Getting off that pair I've been on for four years on this ground - it was a good thing to have," Elgar told ABC Radio. "Getting off that pair I've been on for four years on this ground - it was a good thing to have. I'm sure everyone knows about the demons I have on this ground."
"I don't think a ball had even been bowled and the guys were having a go. Davey (Warner) and (Nathan) Lyon were having a full go, just reminding me a little bit about it. But actually, it motivated me a lot more. It made me think about the bigger picture, which was obviously our team and putting us in a great position," he added.
Elgar also expressed his delight for Duminy who himself had been struggling for form for quite some time, especially in the longer format of the game. It was revealed by Aswell Prince a few days ago that the diminutive left-hander had even contemplated retiring from Test cricket but Elgar is confident that Duminy can kick on from his century in the Perth Test and resurrect his career in the five-day format.
"He's been fighting a few demons when it comes to the white clothing cricket," Elgar said. "I'm happy to see the way he played. Hopefully, there's a lot more to come from him."
South Africa, who declared their second innings with 540 runs on the board thus leaving the hosts with a daunting target of 539 runs, look well on their way to seal the series opener with the hosts reeling at 169/4 in the second innings. Kagiso Rabada stepped up in the absence of the injured Dale Steyn, who faces six months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, picking up three wickets to leave the tourists six wickets adrift of a famous victory.