South Africa began 2022 on the best foot possible, with a 2-1 Test series win over the in-form Indian side. That ideally should have kick started the good things for the Proteas but as it turned out, it was a flash in pan for the Proteas, who have since then suffered immensely in the longest format including losses to England and now trailing to Australia.
Unlike other countries, South Africa’s Test assignments are limited, with a two-Test series against West Indies on the horizon. South African skipper Dean Elgar was left disappointed with less Tests, stating that the team would love to be playing a lot more of the red-ball fixtures.
"I don't think a lot of things go in our favour, but we've got to deal with what we can deal with. The disappointment that we aren't playing more Tests this year sits with a lot of players. They would like to be playing a lot more," he said, ahead of the third Test against Australia.
At the same time, Elgar gave up hopes leaving it to the higher powers to incorporate more red-ball fixtures in the cricketing calendar.
"We can't make those decisions, it would be nice if we could have a massive influence in that but I guess the administrators feel we need to establish something in order to have revenue going forward. Maybe in a couple of years time we can incorporate more Tests going forward."
On their own form, Elgar stated that “talk is cheap” and the only currency at the moment is performance, which most of the batters’ lack in the team. Whilst insisting that there are talents, the left-hander pointed out that various injuries to notable batters, including Keegan Petersen has been holding them down. However, he hoped for the talent to do a lot more.
"Talk is cheap at the moment and we need to go out and perform. Action is where we are at the moment and we need to make amends," Elgar said.
"It's very frustrating knowing that we've brought along players who are really talented and unfortunately it hasn't gone our way this time. We've had quite a few injuries, especially in our batting, but guys have to take their opportunities when they come their way. I see this Test, and we have two more coming up at home against West Indies, as massive opportunities for those guys if they get those chances to play."
South Africa have a big choice to make ahead of the third Test. Whether they would pick Rassie van der Dussen on the basis of his experience or pick Heinrich Klaasen on the basis of his form has put Elgar in a dilemma.
"Rassie's had quite an extended period at the Test level so you can look at it, that he brings more experience to the role. Then you look at a guy like Henrich who is immensely talented and maybe deserving of a chance - an extended chance as well," Elgar said.