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Scott Bailey

Proteas resist push for extra batsman

South Africa have stood by spinner Keshav Maharaj for the final Test against Australia in Sydney. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

South Africa captain Dean Elgar has told his top order they must stand up and be counted, with the tourists set to resist the urge to go with an extra batsman for the final cricket Test in Sydney.

The Proteas have not scored more than 204 in any of their four Test innings in Australia this summer, with their 2-0 series deficit laid firmly at the feet of their batters.

Their poor run of form comes after a nightmare year on the road, where Elgar's team were bowled out for less than 200 in six straight innings and lost five consecutive matches.

Despite that, the Proteas have stuck with five specialist batters, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and five bowlers, preferring to strengthen the bowling stocks and lessen the workload.

"To play seven batters would be a massive ask for our bowling unit," Elgar told reporters in Sydney.

"Workload has been quite hectic on our fast bowlers of late, especially in the last Test.

"So to expect them to come into a Test and to have potentially only three seamers is quite a big ask."

He said it was up to the six batsmen picked to stand up.

One change is already certain, with Rassie van der Dussen and Heinrich Klaasen vying to replace No.3 Theunis de Bruyn, who returned home for the birth of his first child.

"Talk is cheap at the moment and we need to go out and perform," Elgar said.

"Actions are where we are at the moment and we need to make amends.

"It's very frustrating purely knowing that from a squad point of view, those players are really talented and unfortunately it hasn't gone our way."

He also said the Proteas would stick with Keshav Maharaj as first-choice spinner, despite him taking a combined 0-152 in the first two Tests.

The tourists will consider bringing in off-spinner Simon Harmer, but he would act to support Maharaj rather than replace him.

"Kesh is still our No.1 spinner going forward. He's definitely deserved that position," Elgar said.

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