Johannesburg, Nov 16 () South Africa Test skipper Dean Elgar is confident the team’s showing in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia is not going to have a bearing on their morale in the longest format, when the three-Test series against Pat Cummins’ side commences at The Gabba (Brisbane) on December 17.
Temba Bavuma’s side crashed out of the T20 World Cup after their shock defeat to the Netherlands at the Adelaide Oval in their last Super 12 game, giving Pakistan an easy passage to the semifinal, but Elgar believes red-ball cricket is an altogether different ballgame and a rivalry cannot become any bigger than an Australia-South Africa clash.
The Proteas have eight players in their 16-member Test squad who had also played in the T20 World Cup, but Elgar felt they will not be short on morale when the Test series commences.
“Turning to red-ball cricket, eight of our 16-man test squad did duty at the T20 World Cup. What happened in the past is in the past (T20 World Cup disappointment) and the Test side is in such a good space,” said Elgar in his column for supersport.com.
Elgar himself would be keenly looking forward to the series as he marked his Test debut against Australia in 2012.
“In terms of facing Australia in Australia, I don’t think you get anything bigger. It’s going to be a huge experience for all of us. I’ve had two previous series in Australia but never played at the venues on the tour itinerary this time, so it’s going to be a great challenge personally. As a young kid, I used to wake up and watch those Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests and imagine what it was like playing in front of a capacity crowd at the MCG,” said Elgar.
“I expect it to be a thrilling experience and can’t wait for the opportunity to try and win another series in Australia. With Australia first and us second on the Test ladder, I don’t think you’re going to get much bigger than that at the moment. It’s going to be a huge series and an unbelievable challenge but that’s why we get out of bed in the morning. It’s about being challenged and testing our skills against the best in the world,” added Elgar.
The skipper said that on the bowling front the Proteas were in a good space.
“Our skill and character as a bowling unit is possibly showing off best in Test cricket. We boast a pretty good balance in terms of experience, pace and control bowlers coupled with our spinners who are world-class. 22-year-old debutant Gerald Coetzee from Bloemfontein offers us something different. As a cricketer, he comes with quite a good reputation with regard to his skill-set and he possesses some proper raw pace which is exciting to have, especially on the Australian wickets. He’s enjoyed a few good seasons for Free State, and I think his reward has come at a good time for him to get blooded in the test arena,” added Elgar.