Maharaj on world-class Harmer: 'He has shown he belongs'

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South African spinners Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj (Gallo Images)
South African spinners Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj (Gallo Images)
Lee Warren/Gallo Images
  • Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj says his new spin partner Simon Harmer has shown that he belongs in international cricket.
  • Harmer made a return to the Proteas set-up in the recently concluded two-match Test series against Bangladesh.
  • The duo wreaked havoc against Bangladesh as they captured 29 wickets between them and were the leading wicket-takers in the series.

Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj says Simon Harmer's performance against Bangladesh illustrated why he still belongs in international cricket.

Harmer, who once was shunned after taking a Kolpak deal with Essex, made a stunning seven-year return to the Proteas set-up in the recently concluded two-match Test series against Bangladesh.

South Africa went on to clean sweep the series 2-0 thanks to Maharaj and Harmer's ability to dominate and keep an attacking Bangladesh at bay.

In the absence of Indian Premier League-bound bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen and Lungi Ngidi, the duo went on to share 29 wickets between the two in Durban and Gqeberha.

READ | Tests: Proteas have outpaced own renaissance dreams

Harmer was phenomenal in his supporting role as he delivered 3/39, 3/34, 4/103 and 3/21 to end on 13 wickets in the series.

Maharaj, who ended as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps, had nothing but praise for his spinning partner and hopes that he'll continue to be a mainstay in the Proteas set-up.

"It's always nice having a spinner at the other end and Simon is a world-class performer and he has shown how much he has grown on the county circuit," said Maharaj.

"He has also shown why he belongs in international cricket, not only from a bowling point of view but because of how he is a team man and more especially from the lower-order, where he contributed in both Test matches."

The Proteas' next red-ball tour will be against England away for a three-match Test series in August with Harmer's expertise hoping to come of good use.

Rob Houwing | Maharaj: Much more than just champion spinner

Maharaj also praised skipper Dean Elgar on his first season as Test captain, stating that he is exactly what the team needed.

It's been a flawless summer for Elgar, who has yet to lose a Test series since becoming regular skipper as the Proteas won five Tests in seven Tests this 2021/22 season.

"Dean has done really well in his first year and we're always there to support him," said Maharaj.

"Tactically, we know he is a fighter and tough character and I think that's what the team needed. I'm just glad he is getting the rewards and getting the support from the team and ensuring the results.

"I'm just happy that it was a really good Test season."

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