There will be few South African cricket fans who ever forget the name ‘Grant Elliott’.
The Johannesburg-born batsman’s unbeaten 84 sent the Proteas crashing out of the World Cup semi-finals in Auckland this year, and now the 36-year-old is back to haunt his country of birth once more, this time in both the T20 and ODI formats.
He will take on more responsibility in the absence of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, but he is expecting that to open doors for others.
“Currently we’re missing quite a lot of our players that played in the World Cup… guys like (Trent) Boult, (Tim) Southee, (Brendon) McCullum and Corey Anderson… it obviously provides quite a big hole in our team now but it gives young guys an opportunity to stake their claim,” Elliott said from Durban this week.
“It’s also an opportunity for New Zealand cricket to get a bit more depth within the squad which I think is important obviously to the lead up to the T20 World Cup and 2019 (Cricket World Cup).”
Elliott is currently enjoying his best run in the Black Caps setup having played in 24 ODIs this year.
“I’m still fit and still hungry to play. As long as I’m still enjoying it and scoring runs then I’ll carry on for as long as I can,” he said.
Elliott has only played in four T20s for New Zealand, and he was expecting a tough time against the Proteas in Durban on Friday and then again on Sunday in Pretoria.
“South Africa is always a world class team. Especially coming to South Africa to play them… they are always a dangerous team,” he said.
Friday’s match starts at 18:00.