Elgar says Windies players deserve respect, not taking opponents lightly
By Clifton Ross
AHEAD of the first bio-secure Test Match against the West Indies, South Africa skipper Dean Elgar says it’s important to show their opponents the necessary respect and not take them lightly over the course of their upcoming battle which bowls off today at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia.
Captain Kraigg Braithwaite said recently during his virtual conference that the Windies were eager to go and put on a show and maintain their current momentum,
Elgar, during the pre-match virtual Zoom conference yesterday, explained that despite the Windies having a slightly watered-down bowling attack, minus Shannon Gabriel; the team command their respect and as such the Proteas will need to focus primarily on scoring runs.
Elgar also believes that while scoring runs and taking wickets are a part of winning, it’s ideal to follow the necessary procedures to ensure that they endure a successful outing over the next few days. A look at the tale of the tapes reveals that the number 6-ranked West Indies could easily get the better of their number 7-rated opponents, especially after this being the lowest ICC ranking in Test cricket ever for a former number one team.
Much rests on the shoulders of the Windies in-form players, most notably those who have been outstanding in the previous series.
Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite chalked up 200 plus runs in the last series after returning to some form but the new star Kyle Mayers, who created history with his 201, along with a returning Shai Hope and others could favour the home team.
Veteran speedster Kemar Roach, will have lots of responsibility during the series, given his young teammates like fast bowler Alzarri Joseph or even off-spinner Rakeem Cornwall and others who will surely need his support come bowling time.
Elgar, who averages almost 40 with the bat, will rely on his young guns like Aiden Markram who led the Sri Lanka series with 227 runs. Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma and the pugnacious Rassie van der Dussen will all play big batting roles given their experience and reputation.
One big player for the visitors will be spinner Keshav Maharaj, who could easily follow up his last haul of 10-fer with more magical figures should he settle. Pacer Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi will add extra support to pack leader Kagiso Rabada who, too, is one of the South African X-factors.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s record is quite similar to that of the hosts, with both teams winning 2 of their last 5 Test battles.