South Africa Test captain, Dean Elgar said that he is aware of the lack of experience in his squad in comparison with the visiting Indian team. However, he is also seeing the upcoming series as an opportunity for youngsters to cement their spot in the Test team. South Africa will be facing India in a three-match Test series that is scheduled to be commencing on Boxing Day in Centurion. It is the first time that the Proteas are hosting India for a Test series since the competitive 2017/18 series which they won 2-1.
India has since recorded consecutive Test series wins in Australia and they are leading an incomplete Test series in England by a 2-1 margin. Additionally, the likes of fast bowling greats Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander and former captains Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have all retired either from cricket entirely or from Test cricket since India’s last visit to the Rainbow Nation.
During an interaction conducted by Cricket South Africa, Dean Elgar said, “It’s something that we’re aware of that we lack experience in our line-up but for me, it’s an opportunity-based line-up. Guys are going to get opportunities to play and they need to best prepare for that Indian line-up. It’s a message I’ve been sending through to our guys for the last few months, opportunities are there, and guys need to make those positions their own.”
He further elaborated, “If they don’t, then there’s other guys waiting in line. It’s always going to be tough facing the best side in the world, they’ve got a very good bowling line-up and we’re aware of that. But opportunities is the one word that screams out for me to our players.”
The hosts suffered a blow earlier on Tuesday when Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the series due to a persistent injury. But Elgar was optimistic they have enough fire-power in the squad to trouble the opposition.
Dean Elgar explained, “It’s not ideal due to the Covid-19 situation and the injuries that some players have not had a lot of game time. There’s been a few setbacks, but we’re a professional outfit, we play professional cricket and we’re going to play against the best team in the world. We have no excuses to leave any stone unturned.”
CSA had announced earlier that the Test series followed by the ODI series will be played in front of an empty stand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.