Batting coach Justin Sammons believes the Proteas can bounce back against Australia in the second Test in Melbourne, which starts on Monday.
The tourists lost a low-scoring opener inside two days in Brisbane last weekend to go 1-0 down in the three-match series.
It is not an unfamiliar position for them to be in.
“Funnily enough, over the past year we have played our best cricket when we have been behind,” Sammons told the media on Friday. “So I think the group’s taken confidence in what we’ve done in the past when it comes to coming from behind.
“We came from behind in the series against India last December when we were 1-0 down and won 2-1. We did it in New Zealand when we were 1-0 down and we came back in the second Test there to draw the series, so it’s not something we’re afraid of doing.
“The boys are up for the challenge and we know we’ve done it before and we’re confident we can do it again.”
South Africa’s top order remain in the spotlight after their poor showing in bowler-friendly conditions in Brisbane and some below-par displays earlier in the year, but Sammons backs the batsmen to come good.
“We’ve got to keep the belief and the players do have the belief,” he said. “We haven’t played to our potential in the last couple of Tests and we are also determined to get it right. The guys are out there doing their best behind the scenes and I’m confident that they are going to get it right.”
Regarding the Australian attack, the Proteas’ batting coach said: “Each bowler also has their strength. We do speak individually about the bowlers and what they’re trying to do to us.
“We know as a batting group that they are one of the best attacks in the world, if not the best with ours, and we have to be on top of our games, both defensively and in attack.
“When we get opportunities to score we’ve got to make sure that we take them and then defensively we’ve got to be in a strong position and commit.”
Sammons was asked about the mental state of the Proteas batsman after the green pitch at the Gabba and whether they would be carrying any fears into the Boxing Day Test.
“Not at all,” he said. “Both teams play on it at the end of the day and we can’t use the conditions as an excuse.
“The bottom line is we didn’t play to our potential and if we did, we would have had a better chance of winning the game. So yeah, the surface is for both teams to play on and it’s who adapts best. They showed that in the first Test and we’ve got to make sure we correct that in this Test regardless of the conditions. “