The second Test between South Africa and India began with a dramatic first day, seeing both teams collapse within 58.1 overs before the third innings unfolded late in the session. However, the day held an even more significant event: Dean Elgar, the South African captain, played the final innings of his illustrious career, leading to a heartwarming gesture from Indian cricket legend Virat Kohli.
Elgar and his fellow opener, Aiden Markram, started cautiously against the Indian bowlers. Yet, their partnership couldn't last past the 10th over as Mukesh Kumar dismissed Elgar for 12 runs. The veteran batter fell in his signature style, edging a good-length delivery outside off stump to Kohli at first slip.
This dismissal was followed by a moment of pure sportsmanship and respect. Kohli, the former Indian captain first bowed to Elgar after taking the catch, promptly walked towards Elgar, patted him on the head, and embraced him in a warm hug. He even signalled to the crowd to applaud the departing batsman, prompting a well-deserved standing ovation. The Indian dressing room and players, including those in the dugout, joined in the tribute as Elgar walked off the field, visibly touched by the gesture.
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Memorable end for a remarkable career
Virat Kohli's gesture and the response from the crowd were a fitting tribute to Elgar's remarkable career. The South African opener, known for his grit and determination, had played 79 Tests for his country, scoring over 5,700 runs and leading the team with immense skill and passion.
A champion sportsperson wishes to end his career on a high and Dean Elgar did the same thing as he played an instrumental role in South Africa's emphatic victory by an innings and 32 runs in the first test where he led the South African batting in the first innings with his gritty 185 runs innings on a difficult pitch. It was an innings of sheer class as he displayed some steel in his final test series making it a memorable one.
Though Elgar wasn't able to do much in his last test match this moment between him and the Indian players after his dismissal especially Kohli transcended the rivalry between the two nations, showcasing the beauty of cricket and the respect earned by a true cricketing legend.