Perfecting the basics and applying lessons learnt from the previous game will be the blueprint for the Proteas in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday. Building batting partnerships, discipline with the ball and sharpness in the field are key areas the squad has aimed to improve on.
“I think the boys have learnt from their mistakes,” captain, AB de Villiers said at his pre-match press conference this afternoon. “It was a long 50 overs in the field and it was quite hot, that is not an excuse but maybe something new to the guys and something they couldn’t adapt to. In this coming game I think they will know what to expect and hopefully take a few match-winning catches and a couple of run-outs.”
Opener, Alviro Petersen echoed the skipper’s thoughts, and has called for a more consistent start with the bat and ball. The match takes place at the same venue and on the same batting strip used in the first ODI, which should give the players a better idea of what to expect.
“We expect the same sort of conditions having played the first ODI here, I think we will be wiser about what to anticipate and how to go about executing our skills,” Petersen said. Petersen was one of the few batsmen to put up a some form of defence against a firing Sri Lankan attack, and believes laying a solid foundation upfront will be key for the rest of the series.
“They have a good bowling attack and Malinga is a key weapon for them, especially upfront with the ball swinging. He looks to bowl full and straight so the key for us is to keep him out and to make sure that he doesn’t pick up too many wickets upfront. It’s also vital that we try and get into the middle period with as little wickets down as possible, and to try and capitalise at the back end.”