Elgar: White-ball success boosts Proteas Test team

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Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar
  • Post published:August 8, 2022

The Proteas will begin their preparations for next week’s first Test against England with a four-day match against the England Lions in Canterbury from Tuesday.

The players travelled from Bristol in the southwest to the east coast over the weekend.

The Proteas drew the ODI series 1-1 with England, who they then beat 2-1 in the T20I series. That was followed by a 2-0 T20I win over Ireland.

Test captain Dean Elgar said having players join the squad who were part of those limited-overs games was a big positive for the team.

“They’ve got a lot of confidence coming into the set-up and it’s almost like a breath of fresh air with these guys coming. Knowing they’ve done so well in the past month playing here, that’s great for us. It gives us good resources, many options and info we can use to best prepare going into the series.”

Many of the players in the Test squad also have recent experience of playing county cricket in England.

“I think those options are brilliant for us,” said Elgar. “I think we’re ticking the boxes in the right way, having guys play county cricket here now and doing pretty well in those games they’ve played. It’s a massive asset for us going into this Test series just from an experience of the conditions point of view.”

Elgar also provided an injury update regarding Kagiso Rabada, who did not feature in their recent T20I matches due to an ankle problem.

“He has bowled since we started our camp in Canterbury. Obviously, with regard to the workload, I think that’s the biggest concern whether he can carry himself through a Test match with the intensity and the volume of overs in a day’s play.

“For now, he’s doing all the right things. I can’t say yes or no as yet [if he will be fit], but there still are eight or nine days before the first Test and he’s high on our list to get him fit and giving us more options for the series.”

While Rabada is on the mend, the Proteas have been significantly bolstered by the return to the Test squad of Anrich Nortje. The paceman played the last of his 12 Tests against the West Indies more than a year ago.

“It’s great to have Ana back,” Elgar added. “He’s gone amiss a bit with his injuries over the past year. The way he’s bowling in the nets and the way he’s bowled in the white-ball game now is big for us.

“He brings a whole different aspect of pace to the table and in the UK if you have those kinds of assets, you need to use them.”

The first Test against England begins at Lord’s on 17 August.

Proteas in England: Triumphant return to Lord’s

Proteas Test squad: Dean Elgar (c, Titans), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Simon Harmer (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Duanne Olivier (Lions), Keegan Petersen (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Lutho Sipamla (Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wk, Western Province), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors).

Photo: Karl Bridgeman – ECB/ECB via Getty Images