Proteas opener Aiden Markram said on Wednesday that a “focus on getting your job done” was a major reason for South Africa’s overwhelming success in the first Test against the West Indies at St Lucia, and it is a habit they don’t want to lose as the second Test looms at the same venue on Friday.
South Africa beat the West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test in what was one of their best all-round performances for a long time. The bowlers were outstanding and the batsmen fought hard on a lively pitch.
It was also the Proteas’ first win on away soil since beating England by 340 runs at Trent Bridge in Nottingham in July 2017, ending a run of nine straight defeats on the road.
“It’s been a long time coming and it will re-instil a bit of belief that we can still compete away from home,” Markram said.
“We came across a lot of foreign things we had to overcome, like a strong breeze at the ground, and at one end it was quite an uphill run for the bowlers into the wind, and they had a different ball to what they’re used to.
“But for all of us, the focus was just on getting your job done, no excuses and empty the tank. Conditions were difficult, but hopefully we can now win in foreign conditions more consistently.”
It is often said that teams take on the personality of their captain, and there is no bigger fighter, no one more determined on the field, than new skipper Dean Elgar.
“Dean has been brilliant as captain now for the last three weeks and it’s great to have someone really experienced like him to lead us, a pretty young team,” Markram said.
“He has realigned everyone and is driving those standards that will more often than not lead to good results.
“It’s black or white with Dean. You always know where you stand and he’s the perfect man for the job at the moment.”