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OPINION: Do the Proteas have an answer to Bazball?

The Proteas next Test assignment sees them visit the new home of Bazball to face a resurgent England.

Dean Elgar of the Proteas
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Proteas next Test assignment sees them visit the new home of Bazball to face a resurgent England.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

England have so far presented a summer of entertaining if bizarrely lopsided cricket.

Under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England have been willing to have a go, which has seen them fight back from positions where it seemed they had given up the impetus, throughout the series against New Zealand.

The Test against India followed a similar pattern, although the visitors fought fire with fire.

If the words of Proteas skipper Dean Elgar are anything to go by his team won’t be going with that approach.

Elgar seems to believe that the Proteas bowlers will be able to decimate England before their big guns can fire a shot in response.

That isn’t to say that we should rule out any counterattacking cricket from the Proteas batters but the top order look set to approach the game in a more traditional manner.

Unfortunately, Elgar’s faith in the pace attack might be misplaced, as we have seen this same attack get knocked back when the opposition assert themselves.

Duanne Olivier’s enhanced knowledge of the conditions will no doubt come in handy and Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen all have decent form coming into the series.

However, England’s attacking game will Test the attack and the very prospect of standing up to their aggression could see the team opt against playing Keshav Maharaj.

It appears likely that South Africa might favour Simon Harmer for the task, especially given his superior batting chops.

In the middle order, the Proteas have to replace Temba Bavuma with either Ryan Rickelton or Khaya Zondo.

Zondo has the edge on form from the last season but Rickelton’s campaign was disrupted by Proteas call-ups and he is the more swashbuckling of the two players.

However, given the approach Elgar seems to favour, it would not be a surprise to see Zondo play the first Test.

If Elgar is to lean heavily on the pace attack, they will need to be at their very best to stun England.

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