Ottis Gibson says he is satisfied with the Proteas’ preparations ahead of the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka.
On Sunday, the Proteas played to a draw against a Sri Lanka Board XI, which allowed the players to get a taste of the subcontinental conditions.
Faf du Plessis top-scored with 79 while Hashim Amla (78), Dean Elgar (43) and Temba Bavuma (58) contributed before a lower-order collapse saw them all out on 338.
Tabraiz Shamsi was the stand-out bowler taking a five-for on day one to dismiss Sri Lanka for 287.
‘For the most part, I thought we got what we wanted,’ said Gibson after the warm-up match on Sunday.
‘Yesterday I thought we bowled very well, at this stage it is about getting used to the Sri Lankan conditions. We knew the wicket was going to be slow, it was about getting miles in the bowlers’ legs, especially the seamers.
‘I thought Shamsi was excellent yesterday, he has really hit the ground running and put himself in the frame for a Test place.’
‘Today we batted well, we made a conscious decision to try and give everyone a hit,’ he continued. ‘Hashim retired when he got to 78 to give the others an opportunity to have a hit.
‘At the end, I was a bit disappointed that the lower-order didn’t use their time a lot better. To get bowled out this afternoon was not ideal but it is not the end of the world.
‘We move on to Galle, we have had a good week of preparation.’
Gibson is pleased with the variety of bowling options at his disposal and feels that both pace and spin could be a factor in the series.
He admits that playing two spinners is a strong possibility, but will only be able to make a decision after inspecting the conditions at the Galle International Stadium.
‘We have covered our bases with the team that we have picked,’ he said. ‘We have four quality fast bowlers and three quality spinners, we have to get to Galle and have a look at what the surface is going to be like.
‘We are confident that whichever combination we put out will be a strong one, one that can go and win us a Test.
‘We will try and pick the best bowler for the conditions that we have,’ he explained. ‘If the conditions are going to favour spin, we will obviously try and get another spinner into the attack.
‘If it looks like it’s going to be a good pitch and we feel that having extra pace will make a difference to the Sri Lankans, we will also consider that option.
‘At the moment we are not sold on one way or the other, looking at the surface will go a long way towards us making a final decision.’
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