Town - Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis has
admitted that trying to get after Sri Lanka's spinners backfired in their heavy defeat in the
Sri Lanka mauled the Proteas
batting, the tourists managed just 73 all out in their fourth innings, and Du
Plessis conceded that they failed to execute their tactics efficiently.
Speaking after the defeat Du
Plessis said: "It's just a case of our batters somehow trying to put
pressure back on the quality of spin bowling that Sri Lanka have.
"There's two ways of looking
at it. You could sit it out and try and bat for as long as possible, but you
also need to put pressure on the opposition.
"There were one or two more
expansive shots than we would normally play, but the thinking behind the
batting was to try and put some pressure back on the bowling, because they
don't give you anything. That's the quality the spinners have over here.
"If you sit there the whole
day you're also not going to score runs. There's an element of what is a medium
risk, compared to a high-risk shot, especially on the wickets that we're
playing on, with the ball stopping a little bit more than we're used to.
"It is lessons that we can learn.
But we weren't good enough in this game, and Sri Lanka showed us why they were
Du Plessis stressed the need to consolidate after losing a wicket
in the subcontinent.
He went on: "If you keep losing wickets, it is tough coming
in - I think that's the biggest difference when you play in the subcontinent.
"When you do lose a wicket, that next five overs become
tricky - you need to make sure you get through that."
The Proteas skipper lauded the performance of Sri Lanka opener
Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored more than the entire South Africa team with an
unbeaten 158 in the first innings backed up by 60 in the second.
Du Plessis said: "Karunaratne was there the whole time for
them in the first innings. He scored more than half the runs of their total. So
he was fantastic this game. As bad as we were in our batting, he was very, very
The skipper opined that a lack of ruthlessness with the ball in
the first innings had a domino effect that left the Proteas chasing the game
having initially reduced Sri Lanka to 170 for 7.
He went on: "We had them 170 for 7, so there you should get
the tail out quickly. If we had got them out for 200 to 220, the whole
structure of the game would have changed. But we were very soft in that period.
We let the tailenders pretty much boss the show."
Du Plessis said South Africa would have to consider playing an
extra specialist batsman in the second Test after being exposed in Galle.
"If you play six batters on pitches that are not flat -
whether it be green or spinning - it puts a lot of pressure on your top six to
score the runs," du Plessis said. "Especially after a game now where
we haven't scored the runs, that is something that us as a brains trust need to
think about - what's the best way we can counter their strengths? We'll have