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The thing that stood out for me was just how brave Dean Elgar has been: Shane Watson

Dubai, Sep 10 (IANS) Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has heaped praise on the leadership abilities of South Africa Test captain Dean Elgar, while pointing out that the left-handed batter’s brave attitude has been a standout for him.

Elgar, who took over the Test captaincy job from wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock in early 2021, has led South Africa to series wins in West Indies and over India as well as Bangladesh at home.

Under Elgar, South Africa have so far bettered their fifth-place finish in the last World Test Championship cycle, with the skipper managing a potentially world-class bowling attack with aplomb.

With the series against England currently locked at 1-1 and South Africa sitting second on the WTC points table, just 12 points behind Australia, Elgar has got a golden opportunity to lead the Proteas to winning a Test series in England for the first time since 2012 and take a big step towards securing a WTC final spot.

“He’s done a brilliant job. The thing that stood out to me was just how brave he’s been. The way he’s used (Keshav) Maharaj — he trusts his gut, and brings him on at different times, and sets really aggressive fields. It’s paid off so many times.”

“It also helps that he’s got some of the best fast bowlers in the world as well. That’s going to make things a little bit easier, with (Kagiso) Rabada, (Anrich) Nortje, (Marco) Jansen, Lungi Ngidi — that’s pretty amazing firepower with your quicks, with (Keshav) Maharaj complementing that,” said Watson on The ICC Review show.

Apart from the leadership responsibility taken by Elgar on the field, Watson has also been impressed by his refreshingly candid approach in speaking to the media before the series against England began, especially in terms of the ‘Bazball’ approach and justifying it by winning the first Test at Lord’s within three days.

“It’s nice to see when the captains are pretty honest. It imbibes a bit more emotion in the Test series, which is great. And I completely agree with him. All this talk about ‘Bazball’, in the end, what England have done is gone in and taken the game on, been more proactive.”

“I can see why Dean Elgar is trying to not give it much more oxygen, this ‘Bazball’ term, because he knows the calibre of bowling he’s got in his arsenal,” concluded Watson.

–IANS

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