Dean Elgar, the most settled Proteas opener for some time, is desperate to find a solid partner for the good of the team’s batting.
He is hoping he will find that man in young Aiden Markram, with whom he shared a 184-run stand in the Sunfoil Series last week, and with whom he will open in the first Test against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom, starting on Thursday.
In an interview, Elgar warned that the role carries huge responsibility.
‘I do think it’s unfair to expect a batting unit to be settled if the opening unit is unsettled. Your core, with regards to the batting collective, is your opening pair. Openers set up the rest for the guys to come through and play naturally.’
Elgar admitted that the Proteas needed consistency with regards to the combinations. He has opened the innings with Stiaan van Zyl‚ Stephen Cook‚ Theunis de Bruyn and Heino Kuhn‚ but is hoping his partnership with Markram will be more enduring.
‘I am extremely excited for Aiden because he has shown over the last season or two that he is a special player. He is still very young but he has shown that he is developing every time he holds his bat.
‘We have just gone through a successful four-day game together for the Titans as an opening pair and hopefully we have longevity. We need to have a bit of stability and consistency and hopefully we can have a couple of years or seasons together.’
The young opener, just short of his 23rd birthday, is still coming to terms with his meteoric rise, says Elgar.
‘He went from being Titans captain in the Sunfoil Series to Test opener in a week. From my side‚ it’s good just to have him settle his own mind and take it in his own way. I am sure he has his own way and when we get closer to the Test match we will obviously sit down and have a normal chat.
‘Sometimes you don’t need to talk cricket‚ you just need to give him peace of mind because he is a special cricketer.’
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