Former South Africa batter Ashwell Prince stated that he is very excited for three-match Test series between the Proteas and England in the visitors’ upcoming all-format tour of the United Kingdom, starting with three ODIs from July 19.
The Tests between England and South Africa will be played at Lord’s, Old Trafford and The Oval.
South Africa will have a huge task on their hands of stopping the ‘BazBall’ juggernaut in Test cricket, under which England have embraced a new, attacking approach of cricket resulting in chasing 277, 299, 296 against New Zealand before hunting down a record 378 against India.
“The Test series is what I’m looking forward to the most. Of course, it’s my favourite format of the game, but a Test series in England is really something special. And it really is going to be something else the way England have been playing their new brand of cricket. For me, the question is, can the Proteas make them doubt their new style of play?” Prince was quoted as saying by IOL.
Asked if South Africa would start playing Tests in the BazBall approach laid down by England, Prince remarked, “I don’t think, I don’t believe that. Teams often do play in a way that is reflected in the personality of their leaders. I don’t think the Proteas are suddenly going to play “Bazball” under Dean Elgar. He plays his cricket a certain way that has brought him personal success.”
“Also, the way I know the coach, Mark Boucher, is that he will back his team to deal with whatever situation that’s thrown at them and encourage his players to absorb the pressure. Don’t hit yourself out, rather be patient. Get through the difficult periods. Absolutely resolute, that’s the Boucher I know.”
Prince, who played 66 Tests for South Africa, feels that Elgar and Co. should continue to play in their style of play, which is to find a path for victory irrespective of circumstances. “I think the South African way is to find a way, whatever the situation is. And maybe people will call it conservative.”
“But, when South Africa had to chase 400 in the past to win a Test match, we did that. And we needed to block out two days to save a Test, we did that. So, yeah whatever that situation is, our way is to be adaptable.”
South Africa will be without the services of Test vice-captain and white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma for the whole tour of England. Bavuma is still recovering from an elbow injury sustained during the fourth T20I against India at Rajkot in June. Prince signed off by backing left-handed batter David Miller and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj to do the leadership job well in white-ball cricket.