• Elgar relishing challenge

    Dean Elgar says he is looking forward to the ‘new challenge’ of opening the batting on South African soil in the upcoming Sunfoil Test Series against the West Indies starting on Wednesday.

    Dean Elgar has only opened the innings in South Africa once before (against Australia in Port Elizabeth), but has been a permanent feature at the top following Graeme Smith’s retirement earlier this year.

    ‘I echo what Graeme (Smith) said,’ he said of South Africa being the toughest country to bat in as an opener. ‘I have done it for eight years in first-class cricket in South Africa so maybe in that sense I am a little bit more accustomed to opening the batting,’ he admitted.

    ‘I have gotten used to conditions here; I played a few four-day matches at SuperSport Park so I’m not in the dark coming into the Test. I know what is expected from the wicket and luckily I have had some success in the first-class format here as well.’

    Elgar says the batsmen will show the West Indies’ bowlers due respect, in what he anticipates will be an ‘exciting’ series.

    ‘I know Jerome Taylor, he has been around for a while and has been in and out of the team,’ he said. ‘A guy like Kemar Roach, I played against him at U19 level, and he seems to be bowling at the same speed. They are a dangerous team, they can fire on the day but so can we.’

    Meanwhile, spinner Robin Peterson says he will have to ‘adapt accordingly’ to the traditionally seam-friendly conditions if he is selected to play.

    ‘In the past it probably hasn’t, but one thing it probably does is offer bounce,’ he said of SuperSport Park’s assistance to spinners. ‘It’s always been a wicket where seamers tend to dominate and I’m probably going to have to see how the wicket plays and adapt my role accordingly if I’m presented with the opportunity.’

    Elgar has played 12 Tests and featured in 19 innings. Here is a breakdown of his scores:

    0 vs Australia, Perth 2012
    0 vs Australia, Perth 2012
    21 vs New Zealand, Cape Town 2013
    103no vs New Zealand, Port Elizabeth 2013
    27 vs Pakistan, Johannesburg 2013
    23 vs Pakistan, Cape Town 2013
    11no vs Pakistan, Cape Town 2013
    7 vs Pakistan, Centurion 2013
    23 vs Pakistan, Dubai 2013
    83 vs Australia, Port Elizabeth 2014
    16 vs Australia, Port Elizabeth 2014
    11 vs Australia, Cape Town 2014
    0 vs Australia, Cape Town 2014
    103 vs Sri Lanka, Galle 2014
    12 vs Sri Lanka, Galle 2014
    1 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo 2014
    13 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo 2014
    61 vs Zimbabwe, Harare 2014
    21 vs Zimbabwe, Harare 2014

    Total Test runs: 536, average 31.52.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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