Proteas batters must come to the party in Australia, says Elgar

Proteas captain Dean Elgar believes he has a great attack for Australian conditions, but at the moment the pressure is on his batters to put enough runs on the board for the tourists to be effective in their three-Test series that starts on December 17.

The South Africans departed for Australia on Thursday and Elgar admitted the focus would be on their embattled batsmen.

“The style of cricket we play is tailor-made for over there. We have great fast bowlers,” Elgar said.

“It’s bad enough facing them in the nets, so I’m really glad I don’t have to do it in a match.

“But runs on the board is key in Australia and our attack needs those scores to be most effective.

“Our batting has not been good enough in the last year… and it’s up to the batsmen to take accountability and responsibility.”

READ MORE: Elgar reveals batting technical overhaul ahead of Proteas tour to Oz

There has been some criticism aimed at the recalling of Theunis de Bruyn and Heinrich Klaasen to the squad, both of whom are over 30 and last played Test cricket on the ill-fated tour of India in October 2019. But Elgar backed them as both having the experience and ability to dominate the strong Australian attack.

“Heinrich is a good, experienced international cricketer now and he has immense ability and a lot of character,” Elgar said.

“And I’ve always thought that Theunis is one of the most talented batsmen in the country, he just has that extra gear which not a lot of guys have. He can really take an attack apart.”

Verbal bait

Elgar also fully expects the Australians to try and bait his team with verbal jabs, and he said the Proteas must not back down when things get fiery.

“Australia is a tough place to play because there are a lot of external pressures and in their home conditions they are always pretty feisty. It’s the nature of them as individuals – brash and bold and in your face.

“But we enjoy that confrontation and we’ve shown the ability to keep calm heads. I would encourage the players not to shy away from it because that’s when South Africans show their best character.”

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