Elgar still believes the visitors “need to harden up” after they complained about the South Africans’ sledging tactics at Kingsmead.
PROTEAS women’s captain Dané van Niekerk slipped on the side of the pool, broke her ankle, and was ruled out of the World Cup. Fortunately, for the men’s team captain Dean Elgar’s recent mishap in the shower only resulted in an embarrassing cut to his forehead.
“I had a bit of an accident in my room in my last night in Durban. I slipped in the shower and hit my head getting out. Obviously it’s not ideal. I have had a few stitches on my forehead,” Elgar said on the eve of the second Test against Bangladesh at St George’s Park.
“It’s not my proudest moment, but these accidents happen. I seem to be okay. I batted today. It was a concern in terms of where my helmet rests. I am OK. I will survive.”
With the scare averted, the Proteas skipper can re-focus his energies on closing off a hugely successful summer for his Test team – if the final Test against the Tigers in Gqeberha goes according to plan of course.
The home team were made to fight all the way in the first Test at Kingsmead, until the spin twins Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer ran amok on the final day. The Bangladeshis certainly showed they were no longer the meek and mild versions of the past that have simply surrendered on South African shores.
Elgar still believes the visitors “need to harden up” after they complained about the South Africans’ sledging tactics at Kingsmead, but they certainly do possess the skill to stretch the Proteas despite two of their impressive seam bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam returning home due to injury.
The Proteas have no such injury concerns with only the prevailing weather conditions set to have any impact on the selection of their final XI. Maharaj and Harmer were a revelation in Durban, with the spinners claiming 14 wickets while sending down 96 of the 130.5 overs bowled across both Bangladeshi innings.
The captain hinted that the two-pronged spin attack at St George’s Park will most likely be maintained, but where does that leave out-of-form all-rounder Wiaan Mulder?
“Playing in PE, the conditions are pretty much what we had in Durban. Having viewed the wicket that has been prepared suggests that we might go in with the same structure going forward. As I sit here I don’t think there will be too many changes,” Elgar said.
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“I would like to use Wiaan a lot more with the ball. I would have liked to use him a lot more in Durban, but we saw what the conditions were like. I thought if we keep the pressure on the Bangladeshi batters with the spinners that we have, who are world class, then its best to utilise them rather than Wessie (Mulder).
“But perhaps the conditions have a little bit more to offer here in terms of what kind of wind is blowing … the ball might swing a bit more, and I’ll be forced to use Wessie in a greater capacity. I obviously want to give him a lot more responsibility and opportunity to showcase his skill and obviously give us a lot more options going forward.
“I would like to think I will be using him in a different capacity if the ball is swinging more.”
The second Test starts at 10am today.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt), Temba Bavuma, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams , Khaya Zondo
Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (capt), Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, Litton Das, Mahmadul Hasan Joy, Mehidy Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Nural Hasan, Shadman Islam, Shohidul Islam, Tijul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Yasir Ali