Cape Town - Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis admits that his side made a mistake in playing one spinner in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
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Proteas coach Ottis Gibson revealed from the start of the series that the Proteas will likely opt for three paceman and two spinners.
The tourists seam attack only took 12 of the 25 Sri Lankan wickets in the Test series with Kagiso Rabada grabbing eight.
In the second Test, the Proteas went for the three pacemen and decided on picking the one specialist spinner in Keshav Maharaj.
Maharaj went on to take 9 for 129 and 3 for 154 as the seamers struggled on a slow Colombo pitch.
Du Plessis admitted that using one spinner was not a sensible call and stated that the side needed to rethink their approach when touring the sub-continent.
"We unfortunately made the mistake of playing the three seamers. Our expectations was that the ball would once again reverse and in both Test matches we saw reverse swing did not play a role," said Du Plessis after the Proteas 2-0 whitewash defeat.
"That's a learning curve for our brain-trust, on our way to come in coming in to the sub-continent needs to adapt whether it's playing two or even three spinners when you come to conditions like this.
"Balance is always a challenge and that was one of the reasons why it was difficult for us," he said.
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It was a bitter pill for Du Plessis and his men to swallow but the 34-year-old outlined that South Africa needed to improve on their performances in Asia.
"We weren't good enough, I won't try and make excuses, nothing was wrong with the pitches. From a skill point of a view, we have to better than what we produced... with bat and ball, we need to get better in these conditions," said the Proteas skipper.
"(We're going to) try and learn from our mistakes that's all that you can do when you come to these conditions because it is foreign for us.
"No matter how many times you've played here it's still tough conditions to play in and for me it's just about improving as a team," said Du Plessis.
The Proteas now turn their attention to white ball cricket, starting with the first of five ODIs on Sunday (06:15 SA time).