Dean Elgar looking to take positives from difficult Australian tour

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After being dominated with both bat and ball in the opening two tests, the tourists showed some spine with the bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground this week, albeit with a little help from the rain. Middle-order contributions and a stoic session from tweakers-turned-batters Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj helped South Africa to 255 in reply to Australia's 475/4, short of avoiding the follow-on but still their highest score of the tour. Opener Sarel Erwee and Henrich Klassen, who came in at No.3 - then snuffed out the hosts' hopes of sneaking a win. The hard-fought draw is something positive that Elgar is holding onto. "It's good to end the tour like this," he said on the sun-baked SCG turf after the match. "Touring Australia is never easy. But obviously the message to the group last night was we have got to go out and fight on day five and I think it's going to help us in the future. It's going to lead us down the right road. If you think about it, there's only three or four guys that have toured here in the past. "The rest was all brand new experiences. I think the learnings from that is these guys might be playing here again in a couple of years time and obviously there are a lot of learnings out of that. But Australia is a tough place to tour if not the toughest in the world. There's a few negatives but also a lot of positives especially out of today." Personally, the tour was a disaster for Elgar, who struggled with Australia's pacemen and their bodyline bowling. The skipper would amass just 53 runs at an average of 9.33, but he vowed to bounce back. "I know I'm the captain but I'm also a runscorer and I know that hasn't worked out of late but I know I'll be back," he added. "I don't go lying down. I know my character and I know I'll come out stronger." The Proteas' next Test assignment is against the West Indies on 28 February, the first of a two-Test series.

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