Proteas would be happy with drawn series

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis insists that a drawn series in Sri Lanka is equivalent to a win back home.

Du Plessis said that the Proteas need to overcome their tendency towards starting slowly in series after a dismal effort in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Addressing gathered media in Colombo Du Plessis said: “In the first Test we were quite off the boil in a lot of areas.

“We have been also a team that starts late unfortunately. Then we start making better decisions.

“Hopefully we can do that in this test match although we know its going to be tough.

“In the sub-continent drawing a series is as good as winning a series. It’s tough and that’s what the best teams do.”

Du Plessis opined that Dimuth Karunaratne’s largely chanceless knocks in Galle provided the Proteas with a blueprint for success in Test cricket in Asia.

He added: “There was a carelessness about our batting‚” he said. “In test cricket you have to learn how to put a bowler under pressure.

“Once again I take the example of Dimuth as to how he played. As a captain I wanted him to take risks but he didn’t take risks.”

The South Africa skipper feels that his batsmen need to put more faith in their defensive play.

He said: “The thing that let us down in the first Test was that we didn’t trust our defence well enough.

“The important part of playing spin in Test cricket is trusting your defence.

“Obviously we need to try and put pressure back on the spinners as well with what you are doing.

“The guys worked really hard on their gameplan and trying to be positive against spin‚ which is an element of playing spinners well.

“But you have to also trust your defence‚ so there’s two parts to it. That was the difference between how Sri Lanka played spin and how we played spin — especially Dimuth Karunaratne [who scored 158 not out and 60]‚ who didn’t take too many risks; he just played with good defence.

“If you take him away I think both teams struggled to play spin well.”

The second and final Test gets underwyay in Colombo on Friday.