Dean Elgar (L) could be donning the Proteas green and gold soon. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
When Dean Elgar has his one-on-one meeting with national team coach Ottis Gibson at some point in the next few weeks, he’ll let him know he is ready, willing and able to play for the Proteas’ one-day team.

Elgar may also tell Gibson that he’s irked at constantly having to prove himself as a “white ball” player and that all the “net-widening” selection experimenting that’s been taking place with the national ODI squad since last season should include him as the build-up to next year’s World Cup accelerates.

“I have a lot of experience even though people have written me off with regard to white-ball cricket, which is quite annoying,” said Elgar.

“I don’t like having to prove myself every year  I’m sick and tired of that... I’m still very much available for that format. I’ve actually played more white-ball cricket in England than I have in South Africa.”

Indeed, Elgar’s value in the 50-over format seems to be appreciated more by the English counties he’s represented in the last two years than by South Africa.

Last year he played six matches for Somerset in the one-day tournament in England and scored more than 500 runs at an average of 103.50 and a strike rate of 98.85.

Despite playing only half the matches in the competition, he was still the fifth highest run-scorer.

This year he played four matches for Surrey in the same tournament, and again produced excellent returns; 229 runs at an average of 57.25, a strike rate of 91.60 with three half-centuries.

It will have pleased Elgar that earlier in the week, Gibson did in fact mention his name as one that needed to be looked at as the Proteas take stock in the post-AB de Villiers era.

His experience and the success he’s had in England are a couple of important ticks next to Elgar’s name.

“I’ve gained quite a bit of experience in England’s conditions in the last few seasons. It’s given me a lot of confidence in playing in those conditions, in the different stadiums.”

If Gibson and the selectors can provide him with clarity regarding his candidacy for the one-day team, it will allow Elgar to structure his training and preparation in such a way that he can be ready when selected.

“It’s important to have the chat before the season starts, so that players know where they are going and prepare accordingly,” he said.

“It could be a widespread meeting that I could have. I think it’s important just to build the coach-player relationship, it’s very important, even from a team structure point of view so that the team also knows what could be happening.”

Elgar is in no doubt that he’ll be able to adapt to the middle order in the one-day unit - where a spot is available after De Villiers’ retirement.

“I don’t see me changing how I go about my season, but if you know where you are going you can become mentally different with regard to your approach.”

Elgar spent six weeks at Surrey, where his form was solid although his run scoring was not spectacular  most likely on account of the tough early season conditions in England.

Besides the annoyance over being ignored for the one-day team, Elgar is looking forward to the Proteas’ next assignment in Sri Lanka next month, when they hope to back up their success from 2014 when they won the Test series 1-0.

Elgar made a century in the first Test in Galle on that tour, and expects another tough assignment next month, despite the Sri Lankans’ recent struggles.

“Sri Lanka at home are a very dangerous side, we witnessed that the last time we were there. But they are in a building phase - I’m not sure of everything going on over there  but the players want to make a point, we won’t take it lightly. There’s a series up for grabs and we want to win it.”

After the two Tests, he hopes to add to his six ODI caps when the Proteas tackle their hosts in a five-match one-day series.


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