SOMERSET'S new overseas player, the South African test batsman Dean Elgar, is all set to make his first appearance in the County Championship opener against Essex which starts on Friday at the Cooper Associates County Ground, writes Richard Walsh.

The 29 year old is no stranger to Taunton, having had a short spell at the club back in 2013 when he was signed as a short-term replacement for Alviro Petersen while he was on Test Match duty.

Since then, Elgar himself has enjoyed considerable success at the top level and to date has appeared in 35  Test matches, in which he has scored just over 2000 runs at an average of 39.25, while in all first class cricket he is averaging 43.47.

The day after he arrived Elgar said: “Its really good to be back and I have got very fond memories of my stay last time so its good to be around a lot of familiar faces.

“I have always wanted to come back for a season but I haven’t had the opportunity to have a full county season, but this year with it tying in with the Test Series against England its a good learning curve for me.

“Since I was last here things have gone well for me and I am very thankful for that.

"It has been a bit up and down in the first year or two in order to stabilize a Test spot where I have had a lot of partners, but now it has kicked on well and I am just glad to contribute towards getting the Proteas back to world number one status which we rightly deserve.

“It’s great for me to be able to come into a situation that I have experienced and there is a really good buzz about the place.

"There are a few new guys but a lot of the older statesmen are still around which is good to see and there are also a few South African guys which is also good.

“Its great to be back - Taunton is a beautiful place to be and there is a lot of countryside for me to explore.

On Friday the South African will be opening the innings with Marcus Trescothick, about whom he said: “Tres is a stalwart of English cricket, not just Somerset so its going to be great having him alongside me to open with and I will be trying to feed off his massive experience. If I can pick his brains that will be massive for me.”