South Africa captain Elgar expecting 'feisty encounters' in Australia series

By Sports Desk December 16, 2022

Dean Elgar is expecting some "feisty encounters" during South Africa's Test series in Australia but says there are "no grudges" over the ball-tampering scandal.

Over four years on from the fiasco in Cape Town in which Cameron Bancroft was caught using sandpaper in an attempt to try and alter the condition of the ball, the two nations start a three-match Test series at the Gabba on Saturday.

Steve Smith and David Warner have long since returned to the Australia team after serving bans for their part in that plot, which saw them stripped of the captain and vice-captain roles respectively.

South Africa won that series on home soil in 2017-18, having also come out on top in their last Test series in Australia back in 2016-17.

With Australia top of the World Test Championship table and the Proteas second, they are fighting it out for a place in the final at The Oval next June and captain Elgar is not dwelling on the past.

He said: "There will be moments, no doubt, where there will be a few feisty encounters but hopefully it doesn't reach the stage that we experienced in 2018.

"What's happened in the past happened. There are no grudges. We know they want to win and we want to win. There will always be a moment where egos and the heat of the moment gets to the guys but think it will be better controlled this time.

"If they've got added issues with regards to [the ball-tampering scandal] then that's their thing, but with regards my team we haven't spoken about it once. It's history for us."

Australia skipper Pat Cummins, who will replace Michael Neser after recovering from a quad injury, echoed Elgar's sentiments. 

The paceman said: "We've all moved on. I don't think we're probably as abrasive as we've been in the past. It's working for us.

"How we are off the field is pretty similar to what we play on the field I think - calm, very chill, just enjoying it out there, really competitive. And we've done that really well over the last 12 months."

Starc closing in on milestone

Australia will look to Mitchell Starc to fire with the new ball and the paceman is closing in on a milestone.

The left-arm quick only needs another four wickets to reach the 300 mark in Tests, a feat only six other Australia players have achieved.

Starc struck nine times as Australia emphatically whitewashed West Indies ahead of this series.

Van der Dussen return a boost for Proteas

Rassie van der Dussen makes a welcome return to the international stage for South Africa after recovering from a broken finger.

The batter was ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to the damage done during a Test series loss in England.

Meanwhile, skipper Elgar needs only a further 29 runs to take his Test tally to 5,000.

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