Elgar expects Pakistan response as South Africa target whitewash

By Sports Desk January 10, 2019

Stand-in South Africa captain Dean Elgar is targeting a whitewash against Pakistan but he is wary of a response from the tourists.

The Proteas have won the first two Tests of the three-match series ahead of the final meeting at the Wanderers, where Pakistan will belatedly look to get off the mark.

But while South Africa have already secured a comfortable win, Elgar insists the Johannesburg Test is not a "dead rubber" and wants to maintain the team's fine form.

"We want to win this series 3-0 and the summer 5-0 with the two Tests we have against Sri Lanka later‚" Elgar said. "We are playing at home which is a massive advantage for us.

"But it is not a dead rubber because we have a massive opportunity to get up the rankings. [Pakistan] have so much still to play for as a side because they have been hurt a bit throughout this series.

"That is the nature of playing against South Africa in South Africa. I am pretty sure that they will come back stronger but, if we stick to our game plan, we will shut them out."

Elgar is skipper in the absence of Faf du Plessis, banned for a match for an over-rate offence, and the Proteas have some selection decisions to make ahead of Friday's first day.

Aiden Markram is undergoing fitness tests, while uncapped batsman Zubayr Hamza could debut.

"We have a good headache at the moment because we can either go with the four-seamer option or we go back to three seamers and one spinner‚" said Elgar.

"[Markram] went through some serious fitness tests [on Thursday] because you have to take that stuff seriously. I think he managed to get through everything like everyone expected him to.

"He is doing another one and after that they will make a call. I am pretty sure that he will be in a good space to play.

"Elsewhere‚ I don't think we are going to shift around the batting line-up too much. I think players have earned their places at respective positions. Whoever comes in for Faf will be a direct swap for that position."

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