A successful choir obviously needs everyone singing together in complementary fashion and the Proteas’ success over the last summer has certainly been a team effort, but coach Mark Boucher has spoken of the importance of having the two captains, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, singing from the same hymn sheet.
Since the unfortunate experiment with Quinton de Kock as captain, Elgar and Bavuma have taken over the red and white-ball sides respectively for the last 13 months and the split captaincy has worked well, although the consistency of the limited-overs side has perhaps left something to be desired.
While the Proteas ODI team lost the recent series to Bangladesh, the Test team were in dominant form, winning the two-match series quite comfortably, by 220 runs and 332 runs respectively. This followed a drawn series with world Test champions, New Zealand, in New Zealand.
“Dean and Temba came in as leaders in a tough time,” Boucher said. “They are completely different characters, but they have rubbed off on each other. They feed off each other and they speak to each other a lot.
“They have also both been in really good form with the bat and have been leading from the front.
“What’s been particularly good is that they are on the same page when it comes to where they want to take South African cricket,” Boucher said.
Elgar said the success of the Test team has helped to ease the burden of captaincy, which is never easy when there is so much going on off the field to deal with.
“Everything good comes with a challenge and I like challenges,” Elgar said. “That’s why I’m still playing Test cricket at nearly 35 years old and I feel my best cricket is still ahead of me.
“If I was younger, maybe I wouldn’t enjoy the captaincy as much. It has been extremely testing off the field, but I have an amazing core of players around me, they respect and understand me as a person.
“I think we’re in a very special place as a team and that leads to me being a lot happier with what I’m doing. Getting results and playing good, strong cricket, definitely eases the burden of captaincy,” Elgar said.