Proteas captain Dean Elgar believes spinner Keshav Maharaj could play a significant role in the first Test against India in Centurion.
While all the talk has been about the Proteas’ pace attack, and the expected return of Duanne Olivier, Maharaj is set to be included in the XI on Sunday judging from Elgar’s comments on Friday.
“I’m still a fan of playing a spinner and I think Keshav has performed a wonderful job for the team,” he said during an online press conference. “His ability to adapt isn’t something we can ignore.
“He deserves his spot in the Test side and also the conditions here have actually changed and turned for the spinners.
“It is my home ground and we don’t have to worry about the ball not turning on the first three days,”Elgar added.
“We have to set the game up for the last two days where one hopes the wicket will deteriorate and the spinner comes into play.
“Kesh has shown he can attack and contain and when the right time allows him, he can be a strike bowler.”
No 1-ranked India are looking to claim a first-ever Test series win in South Africa but Elgar believes his side has the edge.
“I think it’s pretty even-stevens and playing at home gives us a slight advantage,” Elgar said. “They’re the No 1-ranked side in the world and we can’t look past that. They’ve been there for quite a while and you have to give them credit for that.
“They are the best side in the world and there’s a ranking system for a reason, but playing in our backyard gives us the upper hand.”