Dean Elgar is determined to “give the badge a little more respect” when South Africa take on “beatable” England in a three-game Test series.
The Proteas have won three and drawn in their last four series in the longest format, including a 2-1 win over India.
South Africa also top the World Test Championship standings and are third in the standings ahead of an opener against Ben Stokes’ side which kicks off at Lord’s on Wednesday.
England enjoyed a dream start to a new era with Stokes as captain and head coach Brendon McCullum, shutting out New Zealand 3-0 and beating India in a rearranged Test to draw 2-2 .
Yet visiting Captain Elgar is supporting tourists to keep the momentum going and bring England back down to earth.
The opening hitter said: “I don’t play to lose. I absolutely hate to lose. What if we play an average mark [of cricket]or if we don’t do our best and we don’t get results, that affects me a bit.
“It’s a huge streak for all of us. I think we have 17 players and it’s huge for all of us to go out there and play a brand of cricket that South Africans love and ultimately gives us the best chance of winning in England. We’ve seen that happen in the past, so we know it can be done.
Elgar says South Africa won’t cross the line with verbals, but expects words to be exchanged in the middle.
“In the heat of the moment there is always something that stands out,” he said. “Let’s put it this way. I just want to play three really tough Test matches and go out there and put the badge on the line and throw some more respect into the badge.”
He added: “We played against the best in the world last year. [India, who were top of the rankings at the time]and I think we did things that we didn’t really expect to do at that time.
“So the standard we’ve set and the bar we’ve raised since last year happened quite naturally just by doing good things on the pitch again.
“It’s going to be a tough series, no doubt. They’re a proud cricketing nation and I respect that. But I know they’re definitely beatable. I didn’t come here to play second fiddle. I came here to win a streak.”