Elgar admitted he did not pull any punches after the loss in Pretoria and says there were some tough conversations within the group.
“Ultimately if you want to operate at a high-performance level you need to have tough, hard chats. If guys don’t like it, that is up for them to deal with,” he said.
“I am a bit of an old school mentality with a new school twist, but I laid down some proper challenges to some senior players to stand up and respond. It was brilliant to see the guys take the message on board.
“If you want to be world number one in the future, you have to compete and beat the best.”
SA, who won their previous series in West Indies in June, will next play Test cricket when they tour New Zealand for two matches next month.
“We are by no means the finished article,” Elgar said. “But I am already thinking about the next series, which is something I need to try and manage and control, because I will burn my brain out.
“There are a lot of positives going into that series, but also a lot of negatives we need to hit on the head.”