Dean Elgar intends to continue the Proteas’ winning form when he steps in as captain for the third Test match against Pakistan at the Wanderers on Friday.
The Proteas hold a firm 2-0 series lead and have their eyes set on claiming a 3-0 whitewash.
A win will take the Proteas to No 2 on the ICC Test rankings and closer to their prized goal, which is to reclaim the No 1 position currently occupied by India.
Elgar stressed the importance of guarding against complacency, and emphasised the determination to make a clean sweep when he addressed the media at the Wanderers on Thursday.
‘That is a big message I put out to the squad yesterday,’ he said of complacency. ‘Even though we have the series in the bag, we have been in that position before and we have let it slip. We let it slip here against India, which actually hurt quite a lot. Hopefully, that past experience is a learning experience for all of us.
‘My message to the squad is quite straightforward; if there is any complacency in the squad we have to iron out that crease right now. We have a massive goal as a side, we want to win here 3-0.’
Elgar believes he has learned a lot since his maiden captaincy stint against England in 2017, when the left-handed opener stood in for Faf du Plessis, who was away on paternity leave. He plans to lean on the experience of the senior players to make sure there is consensus among the leadership within the camp.
‘The whole experience in England was a lot more chaotic,’ he admitted. ‘It was the start of the series against England, who are a tough Test-playing nation, take nothing away from Pakistan. On that occasion it was hectic, I remember running around at Lord’s, doing media with a lot of reporters, that was quite intimidating.
‘I am a lot older now. I would like to think that I have learned a lot more during my past experiences, and dealing with the press in South Africa is a breeze,’ he joked. ‘This time around we have the series in the bag, but there is still a massive goal for us going into this Test match. We still want to drive home the final nail, which I feel we deserve because we have played great cricket throughout the series.’
Aiden Markram has recovered from a right thigh injury and has been passed fit for selection. This gives the selectors a fully fit squad of players to select from.
The match is scheduled to start at 10am local time.
Proteas Test squad
Faf du Plessis (Titans, capt)
Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras)
Temba Bavuma (Highveld Lions)
Theunis de Bruyn (Titans)
Quinton de Kock (Titans)
Dean Elgar (Titans)
Zubayr Hamza (Cape Cobras)
Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins)
Aiden Markram (Titans)
Duanne Olivier (Knights)
Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras)
Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions)
Dale Steyn (Titans)
Photo: Cricket South Africa