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South Africa rose to the occasion again at Lord's, but no one expected this sort of dominance

South Africa took the opportunity again at Lord’s… their bowling attack – led by world class Kagiso Rabada – was the difference in the first Test, but no one expected this kind of dominance

  • South Africa dominated England and won the first Test with an innings and 12 runs
  • The Proteas have a fantastic record at Lord’s and have proven their class again
  • Bowler Kagiso Rabada led the attack superbly and took seven wickets
  • Captain Dean Elgar made it clear he wants more games for his side

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South African teams have always been inspired by Lord’s and a fifth win in seven tests after isolation, with a draw in 2008 and a lone loss five years ago, confirms that they are up for the occasion more often than not.

That said, the end came much earlier than anyone on the team expected.

“The last thing on my mind when I woke up this morning was that I would be holding a post-match press conference before 5pm today,” admitted captain Dean Elgar, who was happy to admit that the South African bowling attack was the most important. been. difference between the teams.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar was all smiles after his side's dominant victory over England

South Africa captain Dean Elgar was all smiles after his side’s dominant victory over England

The Proteas' bowling attack shone at Lord's, with England sacked twice for under 200

The Proteas' bowling attack shone at Lord's, with England sacked twice for under 200

The Proteas’ bowling attack shone at Lord’s, with England sacked twice for under 200

“With four fast bowlers and the numbers three and four are the fastest of the four, that’s pretty nice to have,” said a smiling Elgar with a dry understatement.

The leader of that attack, man-of-the-match Kagiso Rabada, was singled out for special praise. “He operates in his own zone and is an absolute weapon, he’s great to have on the team, but it’s a pretty special bowling attack,” said Elgar.

When the 35-year-old from the unflattering city of Welkom was appointed Test captain a year and a half ago, the team was in trouble, in the middle of the world rankings, struggling for direction.

It seemed unlikely, if not impossible, that his goal of reaching the top again and qualifying for the World Test Championship final could be achieved, but now both are tantalizingly within reach.

Kagiso Rabada, South Africa's leader of the attack, took seven wickets in the match

Kagiso Rabada, South Africa's leader of the attack, took seven wickets in the match

Kagiso Rabada, South Africa’s leader of the attack, took seven wickets in the match

The fast bowler was named Player of the Match after his five-wicket-haul in the first innings

The fast bowler was named Player of the Match after his five-wicket-haul in the first innings

The fast bowler was named Player of the Match after his five-wicket-haul in the first innings

Not that he will allow this win to affect his prospects or that of his players. “I hope they don’t get complacent, I certainly won’t let them in because I’ve seen what complacency can do in professional sport,” Elgar said.

“But it’s a good reflection of what we’ve done and achieved in the past year and that’s why we have that ranking.

“You have to play every game like it’s your last, that’s my mantra. It will be hard to stay there, but if we keep playing the way we played and acting on and off the pitch, worrying about the little things and taking care of each other the way we do, the results will take care of themselves more often than not .’

Elgar's counterpart Ben Stokes has plenty to think about for the second test next week

Elgar's counterpart Ben Stokes has plenty to think about for the second test next week

Elgar’s counterpart Ben Stokes has plenty to think about for the second test next week

Elgar was critical of the near-future match schedule for the South African test team

Elgar was critical of the near-future match schedule for the South African test team

Elgar was critical of the near-future match schedule for the South African test team

Elgar said he hadn’t fully digested the content and impact of the recently released ICC Future Tours program, but he had seen the content.

“All I know is that we will only be playing 28 Tests in the next four to five years and I shouldn’t say too much about that in case I get into trouble.”

Not only do the Proteas play just 28 Tests, but 22 of them are in 11 two-game series, with just two three-game series against England and Australia.

The Proteas continue to lead the World Test Championship after a dominant win over Lord's

The Proteas continue to lead the World Test Championship after a dominant win over Lord's

The Proteas continue to lead the World Test Championship after a dominant win over Lord’s

Elgar's team has risen from the ashes since the batter became captain 18 months ago

Elgar's team has risen from the ashes since the batter became captain 18 months ago

Elgar’s team has risen from the ashes since the batter became captain 18 months ago

The rise of Elgar’s team, whatever they do on the pitch, has been cut short by the game’s custodians and the pursuit of short-term money from T20 cricket, with Elgar’s employers, Cricket South Africa, as guilty as by refusing to play test matches. plans during the height of the South African summer to prioritize its own, new T20 competition.

Elgar is such an old-school player as there is in the world today and knows all too well the pressure the Test format is under.

Had his team flopped at Lord’s, or were they to do so in the second and third Tests at Old Trafford and the Oval, he is well aware that the threads on which Test cricket hangs in South Africa could break .

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that this series is arguably the most important in the country’s history.

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