Dean Elgar named stand-in captain for Johannesburg Test
Dean Elgar will captain South Africa in the third and final Test against Pakistan, standing in for the suspended Faf du Plessis. The selectors have also put uncapped Cape Cobras opening batsman Pieter Malan on standby for Aiden Markram, who sustained a right thigh injury during the second Test at Newlands. Markram will undergo a fitness test on Thursday which would determine whether he can play.
Elgar has plenty of leadership experience to draw from, having captained the national Under-19 team at the Afro-Asia Cup and the World Cup, as well as leading South Africa A and provincial sides. He has also captained at Test level when he stood in for du Plessis against England in 2017, following the birth of du Plessis' first child.
"The appointment of Elgar as stand-in captain is part of our strategy to develop our pool of leaders," Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi said. "We have previously used Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock in this role in ODI matches and Dean has previously captained the Proteas at Test match level against England at Lord's in 2017."
Malan joins the squad having scored three hundreds so far this season for Cape Cobras in the domestic four-day competition, and he is among the season's top run-scorers with 629 runs at 52.41. His consistency has previously earned him a call-up to the A side against the touring Australians in February last year, and he was also part of the squad for South Africa A's trip to India.
"Pieter Malan has an outstanding track record in four-day domestic cricket over the past two seasons, having made more than 1700 runs including 7 centuries," Zondi said. "He has also made the step up to South Africa A level, first against Australia and then against India A on the sub-continent."
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town