Centurion: South Africa's fast bowlers will aim to make things awkward for Sri Lanka's batsmen by hitting the bat higher than the visitors are used to, Dale Steyn, South Africa's spearhead, has said. Steyn said he hoped to exploit the South African pitches, known for their pace and bounce, as much as possible against a side who have not toured the country for nine years.
"In the subcontinent, where these guys grow up, the ball hits the bat from the stickers down," Steyn said. "We want to hit the bat on areas that are unfamiliar for them and make them feel uncomfortable, like maybe a little higher up."
With the threat of balls buzzing around their ears or having to be fended off at chest height, Sri Lanka would have liked to get more batting time during their warm-up match against the South African Invitation XI from December 9-11. The first day was washed out after downpours in Benoni and the Invitation XI opted to bat on the second, leaving the Sri Lankans with less than two sessions of batting time on the third day. Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana both enjoyed fruitful innings but the rest of the line-up are without significant game time on South African pitches.