Dean Elgar looks to exorcise Nathan Lyon curse ahead of third Test in Cape Town
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Dean Elgar looks to exorcise Nathan Lyon curse ahead of third Test in Cape Town

Dean Elgar, who was dismissed by Nathan Lyon in the first two Test matches, vowed to improve his game against the off-spinner ahead of the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town.

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2018 18:34 IST
Dean Elgar,Nathan Lyon,Cape Town
Dean Elgar has struggled against Nathan Lyon in the ongoing Test series between South Africa and Australia.(REUTERS)

South Africa opener Dean Elgar has termed his performance against ace Australian spinner Nathan Lyon as ‘crap’ in the first two Tests, but at the same time, he said the home team has generally done well against the highest wicket-taker of 2017.

Lyon has been a strong force in the Australian bowling line-up, albeit with a shortcoming. While he has dominated the left-handers, Lyon has not been the same against right-handed batsmen.

The left-handed Elgar — one of the highest run-getters last year — has fallen twice to Lyon in the ongoing four-match series. In fact, out of the six wickets claimed by Lyon, four have been the South African left-handers in Elgar and Quinton de Kock.

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Ahead of the third Test starting at Cape Town on Thursday, Elgar acknowledged that the most successful off-spinner in Australia’s history has ‘developed his game’.

“I’ve handled it quite crap. In the past I’ve handled him quite well, but I do know he’s developed his game massively in the last two years and I also need to be mindful of that and trust my defence against him, which I know can create different scoring opportunities like it did in the first innings in Port Elizabeth (Elgar scored 57 from 197 balls),” Elgar said.

“But in general I think we’ve played him quite well. The left-handers are always going to have a tough time against him, with the extra rough that’s created and the wickets seem to be a lot a dryer. Our right-handed batsmen coming in to the mix is quite important for us,” he added.

On his part, Lyon said it has been a challenge to bowl at Elgar. “I don’t know what he’s trying to do hitting me through square leg twice, but it’s another good challenge you always have with different cricketers around the world,” he said Lyon.

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“I bowled five balls and got him out twice but I also I bowled 20 overs in the first innings and couldn’t get him out once, so it’s a challenging one but it’s a good challenge, it’s Test cricket,” Lyon added.

The 30-year-old spinner said he does not read much into his domination over left-hand batsmen.

“It’s very similar, you’re bowling to the best batters in the world so it’s a great challenge whether left-hander or right-hander. I’ve enjoyed it because it’s different conditions to what we’re used to at home, we know they play some really good cricket, they beat us at home last time, their unit’s a strong side,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge. If I challenge myself against the best players in the world I’m doing my job and pretty happy with it. So to come up against the likes of AB (de Villiers) and Faf (du Plessis) and these guys and Hashim (Amla) it’s the challenge you want,” Lyon added.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 17:00 IST