“Our relationship is strong and based on hard work, so we are similar in what we look for in terms of teams and performance,” Maketa said in his first media engagement since being appointed to the role. “I’m here to support Dean all the way, to make sure he not only gets what he wants but he gets the boys’ side when it comes to performance.”
Elgar uses similar terminology to describe how he views Maketa’s tenure. While visiting Australia last week, Elgar said that Maketa “understands his role, which is going to be a supporting role,” and that Maketa “understands me as a cricketer, as a person and as a leader.”
“I know it changed people’s careers, but for us, on the other side of the spectrum, it was an unfortunate event. And, where we are now, it’s backfired a lot,” he said. “We’re looking forward to this opportunity to be here and compete against a strong team.”
ESPNcricinfo understands he intends to apply for the job and the CSA will split the role between red- and white-ball coaches. A strong showing in Australia could make Maketa impossible to ignore.
“Guys aren’t liking me at the moment in the sense that we’ve had some really tough sessions.”
He has promised to maintain a brand of “bold” cricket and challenge the players in training. “The guys are not liking me at the moment in the sense that we’ve had some really tough sessions,” he said. “I feel more comfortable when the game starts. I will feel comfortable that we have done all the work and everything else is up to the players.
“As a coaching staff, I encourage us not to get in the way of the players, but to trust the work they’ve done and make sure the environment is right for them to perform.”
A clear separation of powers and delineation of roles and responsibilities between the coaching staff and players is something Elgar has always supported as the team tried to stem the managerial upheaval of the past three years. The results have been mixed but Elgar hopes that once the new set-up is in place, they will begin to curve upwards and take cricket centre-stage.
“For the first time in years, it’s at its most stable,” Elgar said. “We have had a lot of changes in terms of admins in CSA. As players, these things cannot hinder our performance. We are almost used to such bad titles. For now, it is stabilizing quite nicely.
“We’ve got a new CEO, we’ve got a new board that’s come in and made good cricketing decisions, and we’ve got a new director of cricket who’s really emphasizing our Protea brand. We’ve got to do what we can. Try and get results across the board. Players That is our currency.”