Proteas interim coach Maketa confident SA will win Australian match

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Malibongwe Maketa is in charge of the Proteas team for the three test matches in Australia. Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images
Malibongwe Maketa is in charge of the Proteas team for the three test matches in Australia. Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

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The Proteas have banished bad memories of their disappointing T20 World Cup in Australia last month, where they failed to reach the semifinals and are channeling their inner selves to win the three-match test series against the Australians.

“For us, for (captain Dean) Elgar and myself, speaking for myself mainly, it is totally different formats and we have made sure that mentally and physically, the guys got a little bit of a longer break and we’ve gotten here now and the focus is how are we going to win the series,” South Africa interim coach Malibongwe Maketa said in an online media briefing from Australia on Tuesday.

Players who were here during the World Cup have contributed in many ways because of the conditions, which were T20 conditions but we have been challenging them to make sure that they put in the energy.

“It being test cricket also brings in different pressures. So, from that point of view, the mental shift has definitely happened earlier than we expected in terms of the energy levels we received from them. It’s been positive so far.”

To gear themselves up for test combat, the Proteas will shake cobwebs off with a four-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI in Brisbane on Friday as part of their preparation.

READ: Proteas looking to do things differently

Maketa said he has almost run his team rugged on the training fields since they arrived in Australia on Friday.

“The warm-up game should work in our favour because we want all the batters to get a chance to bat and we can monitor our bowlers as well.

“We’ve been working hard for the past three days since we got here, and it is important for us.

Luckily, some of our guys are coming into this tour at the back of good performances back home, but getting here and being exposed to the wickets, this game is very crucial for us.

“It is important for each of us from that point of view,” said Maketa.

Brisbane will host the opening test from December 17 to 21, followed by the second in Melbourne from Boxing Day, and the third and final test is set for Sydney from January 4 to 6.

It will be the first time the Proteas play since the World Cup.


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