Elgar expects quicks to work hard

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Proteas opener Dean Elgar feels there will be something in the University Oval pitch in Dunedin for the fast bowlers but they may be made to work a little bit harder than normal.

A few days out from the start of the Test Elgar described the pitch as ‘juicy’ but a lot can change in a few days in the world of pitch preperation.

Traditionally the Dunedin pitch plays a little slower than other grounds in New Zealand although it doesn’t take turn like Seddon Park and should still have a bit of life for the bowler willing to bend his back.

Elgar said of the surface: “It’s one of those wickets where it doesn’t always assist the fast bowlers. You’ve just got to show a bit of patience and sort of know the area to bowl.

“When you put it there consistently for long periods of time, sometimes it’s just longer than other grounds, there’s always a bit of reward for you.”

Quick bowler Vernon Philander picked up 4 for 72 in the first innings of the Test played in Dunedin in 2012 and Elgra is glad he doesn’t have to face up to the Proteas pace spearhead.

He went on: “I’m glad he’s on my side and I don’t have to face him with the new ball. That’s a blessing. He’s going to be a massive asset.

Elgar backed his Titans teammate Morne Morkel to win the selection battle ahead of Knights quick Duanne Olivier who has had an impressive season and debuted in the Test series against Sri Lanka.

The left-handed opener has back Morkel’s experience saying: “I think Morne’s very hungry. The last five months he’s had a lot of time to think about his game and do a lot of rehab and try and get his injury correct. He’s raring to go and he wants to play for South Africa again.

“He’s another bowler I don’t have to face too much. I just have to face him in the nets. It’s only seven minutes of your day, luckily.

“He has that knack against left-handers with his skill.”