Dean Elgar will have to live up to his reputation of fighting to the end when he leads the Proteas out for the first time in the opening Test against England at Lord’s tomorrow (12pm).
It’s going to be a baptism of fire for Elgar, 30, as the opening batsman will not only be captaining the team for the first time, but will also have a rookie partner in Heino Kuhn and a shaky middle order.
Temba Bavuma and JP Duminy have not been at their best with the willow in Test cricket, while Theunis de Bruyn will only be playing in his second Test.
Despite this, coach Russell Domingo is confident that Elgar will do well.
Domingo explains: “I am looking forward to having Dean as the captain. He is a gutsy player and the epitome of South African cricket to the tee. So I am really excited about working with him as captain over the next few days.”
Vernon Philander, who last played for the Proteas in March, will be back to take the new ball.
Philander will be one of only four players in the team that has previously competed at the home of cricket. The others are Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Morne Morkel, with Domingo adding: “I think only four of the guys have played a Test at Lord’s, but our bottom line is that we want to win.
“We have goals in Test cricket and we are very determined to achieve those goals.
“So we have to follow our processes, absorb the pressure and even play counterattack cricket when needed.”