Elgar: Proteas need to gear for tricky conditions in the Caribbean
Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar says they will have to acclimatise quickly to what are expected to be slow and low conditions in the West Indies.
The Proteas, who are embarking on their first bilateral tour to the West Indies since 2010, leave for the Caribbean on Monday night for the series that includes two Tests between June 10 and 22 in St Lucia at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
“I was there in 2016 during the triangular series against the West Indies and Australia when I was still part of the white ball side,” Elgar said.
“I did not play any game then but I got to see what kind of conditions were on offer even though it was a different venue to where we are going to play this time around.
“From my knowledge, reading and hearing what our management has come up with already, it seems like St Lucia is quite a low and slow kind of place with regards to the wicket. We will have to assess when we get there and acclimatise accordingly.
“It is something that we have been preparing with our camp that started yesterday [Friday]. The big factor for me is going to be the adaptation factor once we get there and once we actually leave the hotel and start training as a group.
“Its’ going to be a challenge for every one of us going forward but I am sure everyone will be ready to go once we start the series. I know there is going to be a lot of emphasis on preparation going forward, that’s the one thing we can control at least.”
SA have played only four Tests over the last 16 months and Elgar said the players are raring to be back in action.
“We are all excited to finally be back to playing cricket again. It has been such an up and down period and as players we have been frustrated by having limited access to be able to be able to play international cricket,” Elgar said.
“Whether we are in a bubble or not, we are excited and keen to get going for the coming season.”
The whole team will have to undergo stringent Covid-19 processes with a mandatory four-day quarantine upon arrival in the Caribbean.
“I think we have a four-day process of staying in the hotel in quarantine and two undergoing Covid-19 tests leading up to day four. Once you return your two negative tests, then you will be allowed to leave the hotel and go practise on day four,” Elgar explained.
“I think that is pretty much why we are leaving at the time period that we are leaving at, just to give ourselves a few more days to adhere to the regulations and respect the processes that they have put for us.”
It was announced that Titans coach Mandla Mashimbyi will be part of Mark Boucher’s coaching team in the place of assistant Enoch Nkwe, who has taken family responsibility leave.
Nkwe will join the team for the T20 leg of the tour.