South African captain Dean Elgar said there are reasons for his form slump but opted to leave the specifics a mystery, even as reporters pressed him for an answer.
South Africa were untroubled as they batted out for their first draw in almost six years on the final day of the third Test in Sydney on Sunday, denying Australia a series whitewash.
Australia could only muster two wickets in South Africa’s second innings with skipper Dean Elgar yet again failing along with Heinrich Klaasen.
Elgar fell for the fourth time in the series to a leg-side catch by wicketkeeper Alex Carey for 10.
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Cummins peppered him with a rising delivery and targeted Elgar’s technical batting flaw off his hips for yet another cheap dismissal.
Elgar finished a miserable series with just 56 runs from six innings at an average of 9.33, raising yet more questions about his future as South Africa’s Test skipper.
Speaking to reporters after the final day’s play, Elgar admitted he was left “irritated” by the soft nature of his dismissals.
“I can accept once, maybe twice, but the third time is something that highly irritates me,” Elgar said.
“It’s something different for me. Generally you have a way of going out and bowlers target that. This is obviously something new and 10 years into a Test career, it’s foreign territory for me.
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“It’s something to potentially reflect on and you can either say it’s s*** luck or not. I’m going to have an open mind around it and have a look.”
When trying to explain the slump, Elgar told reporters he did not put it down to a “form thing” but that there were “other aspects” behind it.
“Which you guys don’t have to know about,” he added.
When asked about the specifics of those “aspects” laker in the press conference, Elgar remained reluctant to go into details.
“I’m still not going to answer that,” he said.
“But it’s just purely cricket.”
On a broader note, Elgar said there were a lot of lessons for the group as a whole after the series, adding that touring in Australia is “never easy”.
“The message to the group yesterday was to fight it out on day five,” Elgar said.
“Only three or four guys have played here before, so there are a lot of learnings. It is a tough place to tour, maybe the toughest in the world.
“Test cricket teaches you resilience. When things aren’t on your side, you still have to wake up and try again.”