The Castle Lager Proteas will be using the 50-over warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Development XI at the Colts Cricket Ground on Wednesday as an opportunity to adapt as quickly as possible to the sub-continental conditions. The Proteas are coming from winter conditions in South Africa, and coach Russell Domingo says the match will be the ideal opportunity to build up the match intensity ahead of the series opening ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
“Its’ massively important; that’s why we asked for a warm-up game,” Domingo said of the match at the official media launch of the tour in Colombo on Tuesday. “We want to get used to the conditions, not just the playing conditions but also the temperatures and humidity and knowing how to keep the ball dry.”
Domingo has the option of using all the players in his touring party. However, he feels settling with a playing XI will be crucial in creating the necessary match intensity. “We’re going to play 11, we want to get it as close to a proper game as possible,” Domingo explained.
The series is not only an opportunity for the ODI squad to gain some important winning consistency, but also a time for Domingo’s new coaching allies in Adrian Birrell, Claude Henderson and Greg King – in the interim - to make themselves familiar with the environment.
“As much as it’s important for players to gel in an environment, it’s also important for the coaches as well,” Domingo added. “It obviously won’t happen overnight but this tour is also the ideal opportunity for them to settle into the environment and their roles; that will give them an idea of how to adapt their coaching philosophy to what we have going here.”