“We enjoy confrontation as groups” – Elgar’s South Africa brace is ready for a ‘feisty tour of Australia

“Bring it” is South Africa’s message to Australia as they head Down Under in search of a fourth consecutive away win against their opponents.

It’s been more than four years since they last played each other in the series that became known for the sandpaper gate scandal, but also ranks as one of South Africa’s biggest successes in the last decade. It was the first time they had a series win at home against Australia since re-admission. The residue from that series litters the entryway of this one and there’s every expectation that the action will take place both off and on the field.

“Because we’re playing in their home situation, it’s going to be pretty tough,” South Africa’s Test captain Dean Elgar said ahead of their departure on Thursday. “The individuals they have on their team are quite brash and daring – in your face kind of characters and that can work to our advantage. I think that plays into our hands. We enjoy that confrontation as a group and we manage it pretty well .We have calm heads for that If they want to be in your face that’s fine I’m certainly not going to shy away from that and I’ll encourage the players not to shy away from that because I think that’s when South Africans get the best out of themselves.”

However, Elgar’s team is not in the same condition as Faf du Plessis’s in 2018. Although they are currently second in the World Test Championship (WTC) table, they are closer to the 2019 team that won by India toured with an interim team director. at the helm, who was sent on his first international assignment to one of the toughest places to play Tests, and a looming administrative crisis loomed. This side of 2022 also has a temporary coach, who will make his debut. He too is taking South Africa to a difficult spot and there is no indication when permanent appointments will take place. But there is one difference. Elgar revealed that he asked Malibongwe Maketa to take over from Mark Boucher and that he and Enoch Nkwe (the 2019 team director who is now director of cricket) are on the same page.

“Growing up as a kid you used to wake up for these Boxing Day Test matches Down Under and you don’t mind losing a few hours of sleep. Now we have 16 players who are going to experience it first hand. . “

Dan Elgar

“Mali is one of the coaches I asked our director (Nkwe) to try and become interim. I’m glad I did well,” said Elgar. “It’s nice to have a DOC who has cricket at heart and supports his leadership which should be supported. Mali understands his role, which will be a supporting one, and he understands me as a cricketer, as a person and as a leader. Mali comes with quite a bit of experience. He’s been around for as long as I can remember.”

Maketa worked as the head coach for the Warriors franchise in the South Africa domestic circuit from 2015 to 2017, as an assistant to Ottis Gibson for the national side between 2017 and 2019, and most recently as the South African A coach. He also toured England earlier this year and has worked with most of the team members in some capacity over the past ten years. He’s one of the few consistent presences on the South African scene, who Elgar thinks they need more than anything as the test team evolves.

“The environment has changed dramatically (since 2019) but in a good way. We’ve tried to keep our core players so consistency has always been pretty stable. We’ve evolved a lot and played really good cricket in the Test Arena but we I’m still trying to aim for the consistency factor that will be key in a big series,” he said.

This is undoubtedly the biggest test for South Africa in the next three years. It is their last series of three Tests until they receive Australia in 2026, a must win if they want to reach the WTC final and their first in Australia over the holiday season since 2008. That means no one in the current squad has played a test in the MCG or the SCG or soaked up the atmosphere of such an occasion.

“Growing up as a kid, you always woke up for these Boxing Day test matches Down Under and you don’t mind losing a few hours of sleep,” Elgar said. “Now we have 16 players who are going to experience it first hand. It’s a childhood dream of mine to experience this. Playing a Boxing Day and New Year’s Test in Australia – I don’t think you get any bigger than that.” .”

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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