Faf confident pacemen can get the job done in Sri Lanka

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Proteas captain Faf du Plessis insists the team’s pace bowlers will always be their biggest strength, even in Sri Lanka where the next Test series will take place.

Du Plessis was speaking to reporters before jetting off to the subcontinent where they will take on the Sri Lankans in two Tests from 12 July.

The Proteas have chosen three spinners in their 15-man squad but also have four pacemen – Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi – going to the subcontinent.

Despite what is expected to be spin-friendly conditions, Du Plessis expressed confidence in his fast-bowling unit to get the job done.

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Du Plessis said: “No matter what the conditions are, a big strength of our team will always be our fast bowlers, especially the personnel we have: Steyn, Kagiso and Vernon are all wicket-taking bowlers.

“Those three have proven they can do it in any conditions. Dale has got a fantastic record in the subcontinent and KG is gold.

“He will be able to do anything, and we’ve got Keshav (Maharaj). If we want to and there’s an opportunity to, because the conditions are really bad, then we can look at a second spinner.”

Du Plessis knows it won’t be easy in Sri Lanka. If the Proteas can apply the lessons learnt from their last tour to the subcontinent, which was back in 2016 when they were beaten 3-0 in India, it will help.

The skipper is expecting conditions to obviously favour the home side.

Du Plessis continued: “I am expecting tough conditions. I think Sri Lanka will look at it on paper and think ‘we’ve got a better side on paper’, and I think they will try and make it as dry as possible and spin as much as possible.

“It will be a nice opportunity to test ourselves in tough conditions. There were a lot of lessons learnt by us [in India].

“You have to go through something like that to pick your game apart, start from scratch and look at how you get better.”

PROTEAS TOUR TO SRI LANKA 2018

July 4: SA arrive in Sri Lanka

July 7-8: Two-day practice match, P Sara Stadium, Colombo

July 12-16: 1st Test match, Galle

July 20-24: 2nd Test match, Colombo

July 26: One-day warm-up match

July 29: 1st ODI, Dambulla (Day match)

August 1: 2nd ODI, Dambulla (D/N)

August 5: 3rd ODI, Kandy (day match)

August 8: 4th ODI, Kandy (D/N)

August 12: 5th ODI, Colombo (D/N)

August 14: T20 International, Colombo (D/N)

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