Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
22 Dec 2021
7:28 pm

Runs to be made, but Proteas must work for them, says Elgar

Ken Borland

India, possessing one of the best attacks in world cricket, will come up against a South African batting line-up that is yet to reach its full potential.

Proteas captain Dean Elgar will lead the national team in three Tests against India, starting on Sunday. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

SuperSport Park has been the site of some high scoring in domestic cricket lately, but Proteas captain Dean Elgar knows his batting line-up will be “up against it” in the first Test against India which starts in Centurion on Boxing Day.

In the last four-day match played at the venue, when the Northerns Titans drew with the KZN Dolphins, 983 runs were scored for the loss of just 21 wickets, with 12 batters getting past 40 and two centuries being scored.

“Although there’s been quite a lot of rain recently, Centurion has had a pretty good pitch of late and if you apply yourself as a batter, put away some shots, then you can get runs under the belt,” Elgar said of his home ground.

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But India possess one of the best attacks in world cricket, coming up against a South African batting line-up that is yet to reach its full potential.

“If there’s some extra pace and bounce in the pitch then bowlers can exploit the conditions and there’s always a bit of spice in South Africa, especially on the Highveld,” the skipper said.

“India have an immensely improved bowling attack, especially away from home, and we are going to be up against it, but we’re perfectly comfortable with that.

“We feel comfortable at home and it’s going to be tough for India’s batsmen too against our attack. I’d rather be in our changeroom than theirs.”

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Elgar led the batting averages for the Proteas the last time India were here, scoring 207 runs at 41.40 in early 2018.

South Africa won that series 2-1, but this time there is no AB de Villiers or Hashim Amla or Faf du Plessis, and the left-handed opener will have to lead the way again with the bat.

“I naturally always want to lead from the front with the bat and scoring runs is a massive role of mine, let alone being the captain. I will never run away from that responsibility and hopefully I average a little more this series,” Elgar said.

“I know we have a relatively inexperienced batting line-up, but they have an opportunity to take, which is what professional cricket is all about. Either they take it or there are other guys knocking on the door.”