Dean Elgar, the mean opening batter may not fit into the “elegant left-hander” category. But, yet again, on the rain-marred fourth day of the second Test at The Wanderers, Johannesburg, the South African led the national team for the 12th time in four-and-a-half years and delivered the southpaw punch to the Indians; in cricketing parlance, a typical captain’s knock of an unconquered 96. Into his 10th year of international cricket, Elgar showed his body to defend and a lot of pluck while facing up to the Indian fast bowlers for five hours and nine minutes helping his team to level the three-Test match Freedom series 1-1 and, go to Newlands, Cape Town with their heads held high. The stodgy-looking batter has scored 4559 runs in 71 Tests — 4323 as an opener with 12 centuries and 19 half-centuries, almost 50% aiding in his team’s winning cause. Applauding Elgar’s unyielding undertaking, former captain and the man who worked hard for South Africa’s acceptance into the international fraternity in the early 1990s, Dr. Ali Bacher texted this correspondent saying: “Elgar showed what can be achieved by guts and determination. His performance is particularly praiseworthy because the pitch favoured the Indian fast bowlers.” Elgar is all set to become South Africa’s third left-hander opener to score 5000 runs after Graeme Smith, 9018 runs, and Gary Kirsten, 5726.