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Key to victory

Thursday, March 01, 2018

DURBAN - South Africa's opening batsman Dean Elgar believes the spinners could prove decisive in their home series against Australia, which been hyped as potentially a blood-curdling battle between the two teams' pace attacks.

South Africa, under new coach Ottis Gibson, are expected to employ four pace bowlers as well as spinner Keshav Maharaj in a change to the team's balance. Elgar says Maharaj could be a matchwinner in the four-test contest that begins on Thursday.

"I think against Australia you potentially need to slow the game down, which they probably aren't used to. So a guy like Keshav has played well against them in the past, so he'll play a big part in the series," Elgar told a news conference yesterday.

"I think either way the spinners are going to have an influence in the tests, even if it's holding up an end or trying to be attacking, which some surfaces might allow. It is a bit of a battle of the seamers, but there is a world-class spinner in both sides, so it's going to be exciting test cricket."

Australia have spinner Nathan Lyon who took 21 wickets in the 4-0 thumping of England in the Ashes.

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