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Ken Borland

‘I’ll not allow anyone to get into a comfort zone’ – Elgar 0

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Ken

Following the euphoria of their innings win at Lord’s, the Proteas travelled to Manchester on Monday to prepare for the second Test, starting at Old Trafford on Thursday, and captain Dean Elgar says “We’ve enjoyed the celebrations but I’ll definitely not allow anyone to get into a comfort zone”.

“We’ll be leaving no stone unturned in our preparations,” Elgar said. “There is still room for improvement and my job is to still be looking for the negatives even when things are going well.

“We have a seriously good coaching staff who don’t get enough credit. I’m a massive fan of who Mark Boucher has added to the management and they do a lot of the behind-the-scenes homework.

“I’d be an idiot not to use that information. This is definitely not the Dean Elgar Show, there are a lot of great cricket brains in the backroom staff,” Elgar said.

Old Trafford has not treated South African cricket teams with much kindness over the years, with the tourists only managing to beat England once in nine Tests there, although they have won three of their five ODIs in the stadium next to the famous football ground.

The solitary Test win came in 1955 when South Africa won by three wickets, with Jackie McGlew, Johnny Waite and Paul Winslow all scoring first-innings centuries and fast bowler Peter Heine taking five second-innings wickets.

The Proteas’ most recent Test in Manchester ended in a 177-run defeat in 2017 as Moeen Ali dominated the second innings with bat and ball and Jimmy Anderson took seven wickets in the match.

But Elgar and his team are used to shrugging off difficulties. They were besieged by the English media about ‘Bazball’, and Elgar’s comment that “We are firmly committed to playing our own game. What England have been doing this summer does not influence my thoughts,” will hopefully be the end of that, especially given how dominant the Proteas were at Lord’s.

Even the administrators seemingly pulling the plug on the tremendous growth of this Test side by limiting their opportunities to play the longest format over the next five years could not tempt Elgar into any sort of rash response.

“I just know that we have 28 Tests in five years. It’s a sad thing, we could be playing more, but I don’t want to say more because it will get me into trouble,” Elgar said.

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