Dean Elgar plots path for Proteas ahead of its Caribbean tour

The next new Proteas era starts tomorrow, with a long trip to St Lucia, where a side led by Dean Elgar will face a resilient West Indies team in two Tests.

The 19-man squad heads to Paris, and then on to St Maarten – where the airport landing includes a close brush with a nearby beach – before the final haul to the picturesque island, situated in the eastern Caribbean.

The South African Test team has been in a rebuilding phase for so long it’s tiring.

However, this tour does have the feel of a new beginning. Directionless for so long, Elgar’s appointment in March, for a two year stint as skipper, provides much-needed stability in the team’s most important position albeit amidst a pandemic and the various challenges that that entails for a squad.

Elgar hasn’t had much time with the players, who only gathered together on Friday for a short training camp before their departure. “It’s important to try and get the individuals in the squad to trust your process as a captain,” Elgar said yesterday. “It’s tough, when working with different individuals, who have different mindsets and opinions.”

“That’s another challenging aspect, is to actually get players to believe in the process, and do it quickly.”

Elgar will have time for some one-on-one work with the players in St Lucia, with the squad needing to isolate for three days in their hotel. The South African squad were administered with a vaccine this week, as part of the Sisonke trial. Should everyone test negative, by the fourth day of their stay, the players can start practising and three days thereafter they can move freely around in the hotel.

The West Indies players have also been receiving vaccinations this week.

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