The Proteas need to deal with unknown conditions as Durban hosts a Test match in August for the first time.
Analysis of the weather conditions is key as the Proteas gear up for the first Test against New Zealand on Friday. Dean Elgar has been preparing intensely over the last two days as the squad try and simulate match conditions in a practice match at Kingsmead on Tuesday.
‘The biggest thing for us is to try and adapt as soon as possible,’ Elgar said to the media in Durban on Monday. ‘The wicket in the middle might be playing completely different to what we have experienced in the nets. We are experienced enough cricketers to adapt, adjust and to get used to the pace of play again. The facilities have been good, we have four days before the test so we will have a decent amount of preparation going into Friday.’
Elgar will attempt to kick-start a run of good form by solidifying a partnership with Stephen Cook at the top of the order.
‘It’s a good ground for me personally,’ he said. ‘Especially going back to last season and the previous season from the domestic front. It’s a nice place to play cricket, I have always felt that it’s a wicket where you can get in and really score big. Personally, it has been a good hunting ground and hopefully it’s another ground where one can contribute and try to get a win for the team.
‘Stephen has played 15 years of first-class cricket so he is well established in that (opening) position,’ he said of his partner. ‘He has opened the batting 100 percent of his career so he is the man for the job. Hopefully we can continue doing good things for South Africa. We have only had one game opening together but we have opened for SA ‘A’ a few times so in that sense he’s not a foreign partner for me up the order. Hopefully we can have a bit of longevity in our partnership.’
Elgar says the Proteas are motivated to climb the Test rankings, by sticking to the game plan and building a consistent solid foundation within the squad.
‘We’ve got to go back to the basics of our game,’ he admitted. ‘In the last two seasons we haven’t done that well. We have had a lot of changes to the team from a selection point of view or injury so we have to get ourselves established again within our ranks and world cricket by ticking the boxes and doing the right things correctly.’
Elgar has scored 1 249 runs in 25 Test matches for the Proteas, consisting of four 100s and three 50s with a strike rate of 45.15.
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