Cricket

South Africa vs Sri Lanka: ‘All bases covered’ says visiting coach Mickey Arthur ahead of Test series

  • Agence France-Presse
  • December 22nd, 2020
  • 10:34:25 IST

Pretoria: Sri Lanka have "all bases covered" ahead of a two-match Test series against South Africa, head coach Mickey Arthur said Monday.

The first Test starts in Centurion Saturday.

Arthur said conditions at the Test grounds in Centurion and Johannesburg were likely to be more helpful to pace bowlers than they were in Durban and Port Elizabeth, where Sri Lanka gained upset wins for a 2-0 series victory in the 2018/19 season.

"Conditions are going to be totally different from what Sri Lanka had then," said Arthur, "but I had a look at the pitch at Centurion this morning and I expect it to be a good cricket wicket."

Arthur, who has also coached South Africa and Australia, guided Pakistan when they were beaten 3-0 in South Africa in 2018/19 shortly before Sri Lanka upset the odds.

File image of Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur. AP

File image of Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur. AP

He admitted that he had a "whinge" about the pitches on Pakistan's tour, which included Tests at Centurion and Johannesburg.

But that was a time when then-South Africa coach Ottis Gibson called for pitches that helped his pace bowlers dominate.

"I am comfortable we will have good South African conditions," said Arthur.

He said the Sri Lankans had done their best to replicate likely South African pitches by preparing on bouncy, well-grassed surfaces in Kandy.

"We've covered all bases. We have 21 guys in our bubble here because we are going straight back to Sri Lanka to play England.

"We've got good seam bowling, good spin bowling and I am confident our top six batsmen can handle the conditions."

A planned three-day warm-up match, which was due to start on Sunday, was cancelled because of Covid restrictions.

"I would have liked more time to prepare," said Arthur, "but the Sri Lankan board has been very pro-active.

"We have had camps and intra-squad games and have tried to keep the players as sharp as they can be."

The Sri Lankans flew to South Africa immediately after a Twenty20 competition.

"Playing T20 before a Test series is not ideal, but the players have been playing competitive cricket. I believe international players these days are good enough to shift focus," said Arthur.

Updated Date: December 22, 2020 10:34:25 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Pakistan vs South Africa: Proteas undergo first training session after all players return negative COVID-19 tests
First Cricket News

Pakistan vs South Africa: Proteas undergo first training session after all players return negative COVID-19 tests

The South Africa squad, which includes 21 players, underwent their first COVID-19 tests soon after landing in the country's financial capital on Saturday morning and according to their media manager, all the reports came negative.

Marco Jansen replaces Ottniel Baartman in South Africa's 21-man squad for Pakistan Tests
First Cricket News

Marco Jansen replaces Ottniel Baartman in South Africa's 21-man squad for Pakistan Tests

Baartman had received a maiden Test call-up for South Africa but was left out due to a medical reason unrelated to COVID-19.

Sri Lanka vs England: Visitors off to nervy start after Lahiru Thirimanne's ton helps hosts set 74-run target
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka vs England: Visitors off to nervy start after Lahiru Thirimanne's ton helps hosts set 74-run target

Leftarm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya grabbed 2-13 and first innings double century-maker Joe Root was brilliantly run out by Niroshan Dickwella for 1 as England went to stumps on a nervy 38-3.