Proteas prepare to handle the heat in Sri Lanka tour

2014-06-20 00:00

PRETORIA — The South African cricket team are getting ready to face a full onslaught during next month’s tour of Sri Lanka.

“That is the one place where you need to keep all your wits together,” fast bowler Morné Morkel said yesterday at Cricket South Africa’s Centre for ­Excellence in Pretoria.

“It will be of utmost importance for us as bowlers to make an early break-through while the ball is still hard and new and shiny. We will also have to work hard to get reverse swing. We will have to combine well as bowlers to pressurise their batsmen,” said Morkel, who has been doing fitness sessions together with his team-mates.

The oppressive heat and enormous humidity on the island will also pose many challenges.

In an effort to increase their body heat to the levels that they will face in Sri Lanka, the players practised in their track suits and also went into the ­saunas fully clothed.

Fitness expert Greg King said that as a result of the winter temperatures on the Highveld, it was quite difficult to emulate the conditions that they will face in Sri Lanka where it is now summer.

On the other hand, Morkel, whose Kolkata Knight Riders won the Indian Premier League (IPL), said it is of great value that players increasingly are exposed to weather conditions on the sub-continent.

“It becomes easier every time to get used to conditions over there,” he said.

J.P. Duminy, whose Delhi Daredevils team — despite a few good individual performances by himself — did not experience a happy IPL, said as a senior player now, he was looking forward to accepting bigger challenges.

“I believe it will bring out the best in my game. I like to play a leader’s role and would like to test myself as a ­captain one day,” he added.

Duminy agrees that he has a reputation that he was vulnerable against spin bowling on the sub- continent but feels that was something of the past.

“I have looked at a few technical ­aspects and the experience I had in the IPL also helped me to face spin bowlers with more confidence. Although it will be a tough tour, I see it as an opportunity for us, as the new era players, to prove ourselves and the future of South African cricket,” said Duminy.

The team leave for Sri Lanka on ­Sunday for three One-Day Internationals and two Test matches.

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