Cape Town - The Proteas will be guarding against any form of complacency as they prepare for the second Test match against Australia starting at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Saturday.
The Proteas head into the match with the luxury of a one-nil series lead, but have set their aim on nothing less than a series-winning performance in the Tasmanian capital.
This will be the Proteas’ first match at the traditionally named Bellerive Oval, with conditions set to be in stark contrast to those experienced in Perth.
Proteas opening batsman, Dean Elgar, says the team has studied the statistics of past encounters, but will rely on adjusting on the day, especially with some inclement weather on the radar.
“It’s something new for us,” he said of the Blundstone Arena. “We have seen the stats with regards to the ground which is a good indication going into this Test. In saying that, it is a clean slate for us as we start the second Test. I don’t think that we must look too much into the stats that we have been given.
“It’s a new Test,” he continued. “Complacency is a big thing for us going into this Test, it is something we have addressed as a team. It’s a new Test, new challenge and a new venue for us.”
The batting performance in Perth was an all-round effort, made pleasing by the strong performances from players looking to establish themselves in the Test format. The versatility of the batsmen in the batting line-up gives the squad a unique balance, and the skills to adapt to any situation they may face in the match.
“It’s a good thing for us to have an array of flexible players within our batting unit,” Elgar said. “A guys like ‘Hash’, he didn’t even contribute much in the first match but we know what he can achieve, so having a lot of other guys put up their hands and make a big play for the team is important to us. It’s important for us to have those different kinds of players in the team, it’s a good dynamic and a good build for a batting unit.”
Elgar says his career-best innings in Perth put some demons to bed, he scored a pair on his debut there in 2012, and hopes to continue with his run of form at the top of the order, where his tenacity has been compared to that of former Proteas captain, Graeme Smith.
“I did admire the way he (Smith) played the game and the way he approached cricket,” he said. “I don’t think as a batter I ever looked at him and felt that I would like to emulate his similar technique. His attitude, the way he played the game, the way he conducted himself on and off the field is something I looked up to.”