Lord’s fairytale awaits Elgar
Opening batsman Dean Elgar will become the Proteas 12th Test captain since readmission when he leads South Africa against England at Lord’s.
Elgar has described the experience as a dream come true and the experience has left him buzzing.
The fact that his reign will likely only be for a single Test has not diminished Elgar’s enthusiasm.
Speaking to Sky Sports Elgar said: “It’s a bit of a fairy-tale start. It’s only one game, but it’s still a dream come true for me and I cannot wait for tomorrow.
“As a team we’ve cracked on really well, we know what we have to do. We’re quite mature as a unit with a lot of older guys around who rally around, and we’ve had good prep.
“The team is in a good space and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The stand-in skipper conceded that the absence of regular captain Faf du Plessis is a big blow to the Proteas.
The left-hander hopes, however that someone else will take up the challenge and bring runs to the middle-order.
He went on: “[Faf] has been a massive part of our Test cricket since last year.
“As a leader he’s right up there and he’s done some brilliant things this last year. He’s going to be missed but it’s an opportunity for someone else to come in and fill that role.”
The new skipper is looking forward to the ‘Lord’s experience’.
He said: “Everything about Lord’s seems to make you want to do better. You hear all the stories about the game when you are growing up and you see on the TV, those are your first-hand experiences, it always looks so nice. Once you reach the big arena all those memories come flooding back and you have the first-hand opportunity to play here and try to do well here. It is an enhanced feeling when you get here, an emotion that gets you to try and do well.
“With the captaincy, you have to look at it like any other game of cricket,” he continued. “You can’t let the occasion get the better of you. You have to think about the team first and the venue later. You can sit on the balcony after the day’s play and admire what has happened or play it back in your head. From a captaincy point, you can’t let the venue overwhelm you, it’s great to give it the acknowledgement and respect it deserves but you still have a job to do, the 11 guys have a job to do.”
Elgar is often described as a tough and resilient cricketer on the field, and these are some of the attributes he hopes will shine through in his captaincy.
He explained: “If you take it off the field, I’m a reserved and quiet guy.
“If I get to know individuals I’m a bit of a clown. Once I cross the line, you can see it in my batting, I’m a little bit tougher and nuggety. In that sense the captaincy vibe will be in those lines, at little bit more aggressive and being more of a fighter out there. Taking the play to the opposition.”
Elgar feels that England may be ripe for the picking with a new skipper and changes to the batting lineup and bowling personnel.
He added: “I think they’ve got their own insecurities within their team. And with new leadership, everyone’s asking Root what his captaincy is to going to be like. I see it as a good time for us to make a dent in this series.
“They have a few new faces within their batting line-up, and few injury concerns that they’re aware of. But it’s going to be a tough series.”
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