Cape Town - An aggressive and attacking approach, similar to the one that catapulted South Africa to victory at St. George’s Park against Australia through the crafty utilisation of swing and bounce, could be beneficial to the Proteas in Sri Lanka, but the odds will be stacked against the tourists as they have had little exposure in the middle against a team that has just beaten England in a Test series, said Brett Schultz.
Schultz, a former South African swing bowler, spearheaded the attack that propelled South Africa to a 1-0 Test series win on Sri Lankan soil in 1993, reports the supersport.com website.
That was the last time that the Proteas managed to beat the island-men in their own backyard in a Test-series.
In 2013, South Africa surprisingly defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in an international T20-series in Sri Lanka.
Schultz captured twenty wickets during the famous 1993-series.
"My mates often tease me that I was a one-series wonder.
"My retort is: how many green blazers do you have in your cupboard.
"I was lucky enough to play nine Tests," he added.
During those nine Tests, Schultz was a menacing and intimidating presence.
"I wasn't so obsessed with pace.
"I was more obsessed about the fear in the eyes of the batsmen when they faced me.
"I was a mean guy with the ball in hand.
"Allan Donald would get angry on and off. I was consistently angry, spitting bullets," he once told the Indian Express.
"I guess that is true.
"I had that competitive spirit.
"I tried to get you out or to knock you out," he said.
Schultz, nowadays a short-term insurance specialist at Econorisk, said he, Allan Donald and the rest of the attack had to use the new ball well to inflict early damage.
"Later on, we employed the short ball to get the batsmen back in their crease and to ensure that their feet were not moving.
"Then we used reverse-swing to get wickets.
"But your length when you use the short ball and your pace have to be spot on, otherwise it bounces like a rotten tomato and gets smashed by the batsmen," he added.
Schultz said world cricket has changed irreversibly since he retired, as T20-cricket has given batsmen more mental self-assuredness, while the bats have also evolved greatly.
"Previously the ball was taken behind the stumps when you bowled, but now it goes back over your head."
Schultz said Sri Lanka was a much less experienced unit in 1993, but now they have more senior statesman in their line-up.
And some members of those ‘senior statesmen’, like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath are world-class, which will make South Africa’s Sri Lankan assignment a massive challenge.
"I do think that the rough surface will see the ball scuffed up early and South Africa might use that to their advantage in employing reverse-swing, much like they did at St. George’s in defeating Australia," added Schultz.