Opening gambit: Dean Elgar, left, and Aiden Markram will be SA’s new opening pair against Bangladesh. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Opening gambit: Dean Elgar, left, and Aiden Markram will be SA’s new opening pair against Bangladesh. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Senior Proteas opener Dean Elgar is hoping to create stability with new Test partner Aiden Markram that will last for a number of seasons.

Elgar‚ who has recently opened with Stiaan van Zyl‚ Stephen Cook‚ Theunis de Bruyn and Heino Kuhn‚ says having a consist partner at the top will benefit the team against Bangladesh‚ India and Australia.

The Proteas’s long summer starts in earnest in Potchefstroom on Thursday against lowly rated Bangladesh in the first of two Tests.

"I have been asked this question of having a new partner all the time at every media conference and the thing is maybe I was not outspoken about it in the past‚" Elgar said on Monday.

"Now‚ I think I have developed a voice with regards to the topic. I do think it’s unfair [to expect] a batting unit to be settled if the opening unit is unsettled," Elgar said.

"Your core with regards to the batting collective is your opening pair. Openers set up the rest for the guys to come through and play naturally.

"We need stability and consistency with regards to the combinations," he said.

"I am extremely excited for Aiden because he has shown over the past season or two that he is a special player.

"He is still very young, but he has shown he is developing every time he holds his bat."

Elgar was excited by the prospect of opening the batting with the former SA U19 captain, who is his captain at franchise level at the Titans.

"It is exciting times to have him there. We have just gone through a successful four-day game together for the Titans as an opening pair....

"We need to have a bit of stability and consistency and, hopefully, we can have a couple of years or seasons together.

"Obviously‚ it will improve our batting throughout the summer‚" Elgar said.

Elgar said he had not spoken at length to Markram about what to expect at Test level because he wanted his mind to settle and process what had been happening around him.

"He is trying to take everything in because things happened so quickly. He went from Titans captain in the Sunfoil Series to Test opener in a week.

"I am sure he has his own way and when we get closer to the Test match, we will sit down and have a normal chat.

"We are driving together to Potchefstroom on Wednesday…. Sometimes you don’t need to talk cricket‚ you just need to give him peace of mind because he is a special cricketer.

"Test cricket can sometimes cloud your thoughts, but it is my job to calm him and make him feel welcomed."


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