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Ken Borland

Elgar has full confidence in players coming in for those in India

Posted on April 22, 2022 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar said on Monday that he has made peace with the four players who are not available for the Test series against Bangladesh because they are in India for the IPL, and he has full confidence in their replacements ahead of the first match starting on Thursday in Durban.

Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram will all be missing from the team that drew the series in New Zealand. Pace bowlers Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi are also in India.

Keegan Petersen was always likely to return at the expense of probably Markram, while Ryan Rickelton is in line to make his long-awaited debut.

On the bowling front, Lizaad Williams, Glenton Stuurman and Duanne Olivier are the potential replacements for Rabada and Jansen.

“A lot of events have happened lately and I’m pretty comfortable where I sit with the players that are not here,” Elgar said. “I’ve had in-detail chats with all of them, to find out mentally where they are in terms of Test cricket versus the IPL.

“The players were put in a pretty unavoidable position due to the No Objection Certificates and agreements between the BCCI and CSA. No rash decisions were made and I know where they stand.

“But we can’t lick our wounds for too long and I’m very comfortable making do with the next best players, I’m confident they will cover all the bases.

“We’ve lost a few caps, but it’s a great opportunity for the new players to put the unavailable ones under pressure,” Elgar said.

The Test captain was also left in the lurch by the poor performances in the ODI series, which have allowed Bangladesh to take tremendous momentum into the Tests. Elgar said it was clear from the ODIs that Bangladesh now have the apposite skills and attitude for South African conditions.

“The ODI result really hurt, even for me and I wasn’t involved in it. Hopefully that has fuelled us a bit more and our hunger to do well will be right up there.

“Bangladesh are a new-look team and their coaches have obviously changed their mindset about how to play in South Africa. I think it’s going to be a good contest and we’ll need to nail down our basics.

“We are known to start series quite poorly, it’s always a talking point and I’ve emphasised it a lot with the team. I’m not sure what the reason for it is, but by making the players aware of it and trying to avoid it, that gives us the best chance to win the series.

“We need to find a way to not start poorly because it’s just a two-match series. I’m trying my utmost to get the message across that we need to start well,” Elgar said.

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