The Proteas pace attack is preparing for a tough few sessions out in the middle in the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting on Boxing Day.
Kyle Abbott believes the St George’s ground offers a different challenge to the quicker, bouncier pitches elsewhere, and he knows that discipline will be paramount.
He is confident that the pacemen complement each other well, and while they are similar, ‘there is enough variation’ to keep batsmen honest.
‘PE has a reputation of not being a fast-bowlers’ wicket, but we always feel we are in the game,’ he said before training on Friday. ‘It is obviously a different kind of attack, it’s more wicket to wicket and we are targeting the stumps and the pads; the wickets that come are more lbws, bowled and caught midwicket.
‘But because it is not a high-scoring ground, it’s also a place where you can build pressure,’ he said.
A fierce wind is predicted at times during the match, but Abbott says they will adapt to whatever come there way. ‘We will just stick to what we do, and whatever conditions present themselves, we’ll take it from there.’
He emphasised that despite the Sri Lankans having lost some big names recently, South Africa will not take the visitors lightly.
‘They beat Australia, and even though it was in Sri Lanka, it was against a pretty powerful bowling attack. They still have a lot of players we need to respect. There are some we don’t know too much about, but as we get closer to the match we take a look at them and see if there is something we can target.’
One area the Proteas will be focusing on is getting their batting to gel.
‘In Australia, there were some excellent individual performances, with guys chipping in with crucial hundreds at important times. But if we really look at ourselves harshly, we haven’t come up with the great 500-plus score, and that is something we will look at. We have quality players who came up with a big performance when it was necessary. We just need to get it together.’
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA/BackpagePix