Colombo - The Proteas’ first call to action at the ICC World Twenty20 will be adapting to the conditions ahead of their opening Group C encounter against Zimbabwe in Hambantota on Thursday.
The South Africans held their first practice session of the tournament at the Colts Cricket Ground on Sunday afternoon and got a feel for the climate, which can be challenging at times.
“It’s very humid here at the moment,” fast bowler Morné Morkel said. “It’s almost similar to Chennai and we expect the conditions to be fairly the same.”
The players will look to steadily build their intensity as the week unfolds, and will start on Monday when they play a warm-up match against New Zealand at the Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo.
“We play a game against New Zealand and for us that is the business day of the tournament, we need to work on our basics and find our feet. We have played a lot of cricket over the past few years in the sub-continent so we can’t use that as an excuse, we have to try and control the things that we can control and take it from there.”
The majority of the squad may not have played in Sri Lanka before, but an encouraging amount of players have played in the sub-continent.
“We have a lot of experience in our team, the players have played a lot of T20 cricket in these conditions with the IPL so I think we will be fine,” Morkel added.
The squad’s host venue for the Group stages is the 26 000-seater Mahinda Rajapakasa Cricket Stadium in Hambantota, which is an unfamiliar setting for the Proteas.
“We’re trying to get as much information as we can about the ground (Hambantota), that is going to be important for us.”