Sri Lanka in SA

Smith wants killer instinct

2011-12-14 22:01
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Centurion - South Africa are looking to rediscover their ruthless streak in the home Test series against Sri Lanka, captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.

Gallery: Proteas gear up for Sri Lanka

Although the Prtoeas have stayed in the top three of the world Test rankings for the last few years, they have not won a home series since beating Bangladesh in 2008, drawing with England, India and Australia.

"I hope we get a lot of confidence out of the way we play. We've played some really good cricket at home, but we just haven't been able to land that killer blow. We've dominated, but we haven't done enough to get over the line," Smith told a news conference before the first Test starting on Thursday.

"I'm hoping we can string three good sessions together instead of just two out of three ... that's probably why we haven't been able to beat the good teams. Hopefully we can string a whole day together against Sri Lanka."

Sri Lanka arrived in Centurion to a pitch with a lush covering of grass, conditions exactly the opposite to what they are used to at home.

"The pitch looks pretty green. I think the groundsman's having a bit of a panic, he'll be wanting heaters and I reckon there'll be a tent up over the pitch this afternoon," Smith said.

"He only started preparing the pitch on Monday and he desperately needs some sunshine. I'm sure he hoped for more sunshine than he got."

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said his side were going to have to perform on whatever surface they were given.

"The pitch looks good for fast bowlers, all fast bowlers will enjoy it," he said. "We have no control over the groundsman, we just have to play on that wicket. It's definitely the greenest pitch I've seen in South Africa, even more than in 2002-03."

Sri Lanka's pace bowling reserves were decimated before the tour by injuries to Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal. The tourists are also still waiting for a replacement for Nuwan Pradeep who strained his hamstring in a warm-up game last weekend.

Sri Lanka have taken encouragement from their performance in that match, against a South African Invitation XI in Benoni. The visitors dismissed the home side for 357 and made 207 for three in reply in a rain-shortened game.

"Our last Test against Pakistan went very well, we came back strongly after losing the previous game. And the bowling unit did a great job on a really flat pitch and the top-order batsmen got runs in the warm-up," Dilshan said.

Sri Lanka are hoping for a change of luck in South Africa, where they have lost six and drawn one of their seven Tests.

The Centurion Test is the first Sri Lanka have played in South Africa since 2002/03. The second match of the series is in Durban and the third in Cape Town.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Saturday, 19 January 2019
South Africa v Pakistan, , Port Elizabeth 13:00
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
South Africa v Pakistan, Durban 13:00
Friday, 25 January 2019
South Africa v Pakistan, Centurion 13:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Which of SA's sporting codes is in the worst shape after recent scandals?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.