Dean Elgar has demanded more from a misfiring middle order but insisted there will be no over-reaction within South Africa’s ranks despite a heavy defeat against England.
The tone for the second LV= Insurance Test was set on the opening morning, when South Africa elected to bat first under gloomy skies at Emirates Old Trafford, only to be skittled for a paltry 151.
England went on to wrap up an innings-and-85-run win inside three days, with only Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen showing resistance for the Proteas, who were all out for 179 in their second dig.
While Elgar has called for more output from his batters, the South Africa captain insisted they will regroup quickly before the series decider at the Kia Oval in a fortnight’s time.
“The bottom line is we need runs from the middle order, and at the moment that is letting us down quite a bit,” Elgar said. “As much as guys don’t want to hear it, I think they know that already.
“I don’t want to treat a guy like a schoolkid, that’s definitely not my way because I wouldn’t have liked that when I was a younger player, but we’ll definitely have a few chats going forward.
“Sometimes you can go into panic mode when things like this happen. Myself and the coach (Mark Boucher) are definitely not those kinds of guys to panic. We know we’re still a good side.
“Let’s not forget why we’re here. We’re here to win a Test series and we’re in a great position to still a win a Test series. We’ll clear our minds, let the dust settle and focus on the third Test.”
Petersen and Van der Dussen put on 87 for the fourth wicket in 43 overs to halt their opponents’ march to victory on Saturday afternoon, but England captain Ben Stokes removed both batters before South Africa lost their final five wickets for seven runs in the space of just 30 deliveries.
While Petersen dug in for 159 balls in his 42, Van der Dussen, who made 41 off 132 deliveries, went out to bat despite nursing a fracture to his left index finger, which he suffered when fielding on day one.
He will ultimately miss the series finale in London, with South Africa drafting in all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, but the determination Van der Dussen showed drew a nod of approval from Elgar.
“It’s tough enough doing it with 10 fingers, let alone nine,” Elgar said. “I thought it was a courageous effort.
“We always knew it was going to be hard work for us to get on par with them and he showed a lot of nuts, to be quite frank, a lot of character and a lot of toughness. I take my hat off for him.”