Dean Elgar is back

Somerset have announced the signing of South African Dean Elgar as their overseas player for 2017. The left-handed top order batsman appears to be a like-for-like replacement for the departing Chris Rogers who has since retired from all forms of the game.

This will be the international batsman’s second stint as a Somerset player having been at Taunton briefly in 2013 playing three County Championship matches as a replacement for Alviro Petersen. This spell was far from spectacular with his five innings yielding just 123 runs with a highest score of 35. His 19 overs of tidy left-arm spin produced just one wicket at a cost of 55 runs.

He was already a Test cricketer when he joined Somerset having made his debut in December 2012 in Perth, but he bagged a pair falling both times to Mitch Johnson. But his international career has improved dramatically since then and in January 2013 he scored the first of his six Test centuries on home soil against New Zealand. He has also hit three fifties in his 1,429 runs from 45 innings.

Elgar was back at Perth in November and scored his highest Test Match score of 127 in a stand of 250 with JP Duminy. His other tons came against Sri Lanka (twice), West Indies and against England. In that innings his 118 not out was in a team total of 246 in a lost game, but Elgar joined an exclusive club becoming the 50th player in Test Cricket history to carry his bat through an innings.

Elgar has hit a Test century already in 2017 scoring 129 in the Second Test against Sri Lanka.

He has played six ODIs for South Africa scoring 98 runs at 24.5 with a highest of 42.

Elgar will not be available throughout the whole 2017 season with South Africa playing in England so Somerset will most likely recruit a replacement during his absence. In fact the rumours have already started as to who Somerset may be interested in signing but no comment has come from the club as yet.

This is an excellent signing as Dean Elgar is a much improved player on the one that last played for Somerset. Simply put you don’t score six Test centuries by being a bad player. Elgar will add some quality at the top of the order allowing new skipper Tom Abell and the evergreen Marcus Trescothick freedom to play their natural games safe in the knowledge that there will be quality coming in at number three and four.

So welcome back to Somerset Dean Elgar.