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Proteas skipper Dean Elgar hints at changes for the second Test against New Zealand

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
SA captain Dean Elgar says there may be changes to the team for the second Test against New Zealand.
SA captain Dean Elgar says there may be changes to the team for the second Test against New Zealand.
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Proteas captain Dean Elgar has hinted there may be changes to the team for the second and final Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday.

SA goes into this match 0-1 down and looking for redemption after they were outplayed by an innings and 276 runs last week with the Blacks Caps dominating in the batting, bowling and fielding departments.

“It is a big possibility, no doubt,” he responded when asked during his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“I think we have about 12 to 13 guys who can make up our starting 11, but conditions and weather play a part. I am sure there are guys who lack a bit of confidence at the moment, especially from a batting point of view.

“But it is difficult to come in and try to play with a debutant, for example in the batting department. Again, those decisions will be finalised by the end of our training session on Thursday afternoon.

“I am sure that by the toss tomorrow you guys will know what the make-up of the team will be with regards to the playing 11."

One of the players in the firing line and at risk of being dropped is off-form Aiden Markram and Elgar said he has had tough conversations with his longtime opening partner.

“It is a tough one, I think I don’t have to speak to him any more. I have had a lot of tough conversations with him that he needs to score runs for us.

“I think he understands the situation he is in and that his position is vulnerable within our batting line-up and I would like to think he knows that as a player.

“I don’t think you need to keep on saying too many things with him, he knows he needs to contribute for us and he is in an important position batting at the top order.

“At the top order we need guys firing, because you can’t carry a few spots with you within the batting line-up. It’s OK to carry one guy if he is out of form knowing he is one knock away from getting back in form.”

Over the past few series, the Proteas have consistently failed to score big innings totals and Elgar agrees they must do better.

“We haven’t done it on a consistent basis, I still believe we are capable of fulfilling that role. We just haven’t done it over the past few matches and it is bit of a head scratch for myself.

“It has been a head scratch for the coach as well, because we know the ability of the players we have within our squad. I am sure players can answer these questions from their personal perspectives.

“But in my capacity as captain it is frustrating and disappointing that we haven’t been able to fulfil our ability.”


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