The pink-ball preparations step up a notch on Saturday when the Proteas take on a Cricket Australia XI in a two-day tour match at the Adelaide Oval.
The day-night fixture will be followed by another two-day match with the red ball, as preparations step up a gear ahead of the opening Test against Australia at the WACA Ground in Perth on 3 November.
Proteas opening batsman Dean Elgar, who is one of the few squad members to have played with the pink ball during the South Africa A tour to Australia in August, says the squad is managing the challenges and adjusting to the uncharted territory of day-night Test cricket.
‘Today is our second practice with the pink ball,’ Elgar said at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. ‘I think yesterday was a good outing for us. We practised in the evening during the twilight period which has been a talking point so far. I think the guys are quite excited, it’s exciting to play some Test cricket again.
‘I played with the pink ball against the Australia A side a couple of months ago which was a good outing for myself knowing that we are playing in Australia now,’ he said. ‘It swings a little bit more upfront for longer periods, I think that is probably the only difference.’
Although the day-night Test match is the last fixture of the three-Test series, Elgar believes every session of preparation will be vital as the majority of the players make the shift from ODI to Test cricket.
The 29-year-old has made a full recovery from the freak ankle injury that sidelined him for the second Test match against New Zealand in August, which the Proteas won by 204 runs, and is eager to make an impact in Australia after a forgettable debut match in 2012.
‘I think we’ve given ourselves a lot of time coming to Australia before the first Test,’ he commented on the squad’s preparation. ‘It’s up to us how we manage it, we have to use our time wisely which we have been allocated by management. We will definitely have enough time to prepare for the first Test match.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images
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