16 Dec ELGAR READY FOR FIRST TEST AGAINST AUSTRALIA
BRISBANE: Proteas captain Dean Elgar has described the opportunity to play in Australia as ‘surreal’ and a ‘privilege’ as the first Test at The Gabba in Brisbane looms.
The two teams begin their three-match series on Saturday with the visitors hoping to build on their outstanding red-ball record Down Under where they have won their last three series.
Addressing the media at his pre-match briefing on Friday, skipper Elgar spoke about the significance of the series and what was needed to overhaul the Australians in their own country.
“(It takes) a lot of courage (to win in Australia),” he said. “You have to have the mindset of playing to win. It’s kind of something that I’ve been speaking at length about within our group, within our squad.
“Australia’s a really tough place to play cricket but it’s also such a rewarding place to play if you can get things right. You’ve got to take your opportunities and that kind of ties in with general Test cricket around the world.
“Playing Test cricket in Australia is such a privilege and you’ve got to go beyond what you’re used to. You have to actually savour the moment, it’s massive, and the legacy and history with South African cricket and Australian cricket is so rich. And we’re just another talented group that can achieve something great in the future.”
South Africa have little experience playing at the famous Gabba – the only time they played there post-isolation was in 2012 when they drew with the hosts. That inexperience there is a good thing, according to Elgar.
“I must say we don’t have any dirty laundry when it comes to playing at the Gabba because we haven’t played here yet,” he explained. “So as a group we’re pretty fresh and pretty unique to the surroundings. The history here is obviously not in our favor and that’s okay.
“We have a young group and also an experienced group, so I think the fact that we haven’t had any failures here, it might work in our favor. So we’re looking forward to the opportunity, it’s almost like a surreal moment for us. We’ve been here for two weeks; we’ve been waiting a bit for this moment and we’re looking forward to getting going.”
The Proteas batting has come under scrutiny in the recent past after they experienced a difficult time playing in tough conditions in England earlier in the year. Elgar admitted it was time for the batters to put up their hands up with strong performances in the series.
“I think all the batters have to stand up,” he added. “It’s been a bit of a talking point that’s surrounded our batting unit of late. Again I’ve never shied away from it and it’s time for the boys to rise up. It’s time for myself personally to really put my hand up and make a massive call and make a massive play for us.
“In saying that we have a really talented group, they’re just a little bit inexperienced when it comes to Test cricket. But that’s okay. They don’t have a lot of baggage again coming into this series. They’re massively talented and they just need to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way,” concluded Elgar.
Proteas Test squad against Australia
Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lizaad Williams (Momentum Multiply Titans), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).
South Africa Test Tour to Australia Itinerary
Four-day Tour Match
09 – 12 December
Cricket Australia XI drew with South Africa – The Allan Border Field, Brisbane
17 – 21 December
Australia vs South Africa – The Gabba, Brisbane
26 – 30 December
Australia vs South Africa – MCG, Melbourne
04 – 08 January
Australia vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney
Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications
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