Stoneman eyes Elgar inspiration
England's Mark Stoneman is hoping to pick the brains of Dean Elgar when the South Africa opening batsman turns out alongside him for Surrey.
Stoneman enjoyed mixed fortunes on the international stage over the winter and is eager to impress for his county in a bid to ensure that he is selected for the upcoming tow-match test series against Pakistan.
He's someone who always finds a way, regardless of the challenge he's up against.Mark Stoneman
And he hopes that the presence of fellow left-hander Elgar will be something he will be able to feed off, telling Sky Sports: "I don't know him personally, but it will be nice to hopefully spend a little bit of time out there in the middle with him and at practice.
"He's someone who always finds a way, regardless of the challenge he's up against. So, it will be good to pick his brains and work alongside him.
"Ultimately though, it's up to me to me to make those runs to try and get selected for the Test series against Pakistan."
Stoneman passed 50 four times in 13 innings against Australia and New Zealand, but was unable to convert any of those scores into major contributions, a situation he is aware that he needs to improve on.
"I need to convert starts into big scores," Stoneman added. "Runs are your currency as a batsman; that's ultimately what you're going to be judged on.
"It's something I struggled with in the early part of my county career - I would make decent 30s or 40s, but not make the hundreds that I needed to.
"I've since got into those habits in county cricket over the last few years, but obviously haven't transferred that over into Test cricket yet."
Surrey are available at 9/2 to win County Championship Division One this summer, with Hampshire priced at 5/1 and Essex 3/1.
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