Benkenstein says Proteas want to learn from experience in Sri Lanka
Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein is a man who always had his work cut out for him in helping the team prepare for the tour of Sri Lanka.
All the batsmen struggled in the Test series but Benkenstein feels there will be a marked improvement in the ODIs.
With each team in ODI cricket sporting at least one quality wrist-spinner the Proteas are eager to improve their game against the turning ball.
Speaking after training on Friday Benkenstein said: “It’s huge value for us to be here – we’re not in the subcontinent again for a while.
“Even though we’ve had a poor Test series, there’s been a lot of work done on spin for a lot of batters. There’s been a lot of learning going on.
“We’re seeing this as a great opportunity to just get better. Not only the guys who are playing, but some of the young guys who are with us now.
“We tell them to use these conditions. Use the nets. Ask people around you. Try and get as much out of it as you can, other than just in the matches that are going on.”
Benkenstein hopes to help the Proteas batsmen improve in picking the ball out of the spinner’s hand. something he concedes is tough to coach.
He added: “Picking the bowlers is massive.
“It’s something that’s fairly hard to coach. You’ve got to have a lot of experience.
“Now we are lucky – we’ve got some technology that you can go and watch bowlers, and try and pick up anything that can help you out. But ultimately, the guys have got to go out there and work it out for themselves.
“One of the big things is trying to take out one form of dismissal. If you’re not sure which way the ball’s going, it’s always better to be covering your own stumps until you start to find that you’re picking him.
“Often with wristspinners, once you get one wicket, they get two or three. It’s just trying to prevent that. The senior guys have got no problem – they’ve been there before.
“It’s really for the younger guys who are trying to understand that you can’t actually face a ball that’s spinning both ways until you can actually read it.
“It’s really those first 10 balls – to make sure they’ve got a gameplan to cover one way. With spinners, if you face them longer, you start to pick up the changes the bowler has.”
Benkenstein feels that the unorthodox Akila Dananjaya will pose the biggest threat to the Proteas in the upcoming series with his impeccable control. Dananjaya’s stock ball is an off-spinner but he also possesses a leg break and googly.
He said: “One of the impressive things is that Dananjaya is very consistent. Even though he bowls three different styles, he does tend to land the ball in the right place. He’s not a massive spinner of the ball.
“But I think it’s just his consistency that you have to be aware of. So I think it’s just [about] getting yourself in.
“Once you’ve got in, then I think it’s a lot easier. It’s just really [about] being calm and not panicking when you’re finding it a bit tough. That’s probably the key to our success.”
The first ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will take place on Sunday July 29 in Dambulla.
Stuart Broad one of the world’s best ever bowlers despite suffering from asthma
The England star is one of only seven players in the history of the game to reach 500 Test wickets.
Jonny Bairstow suffers injury in Yorkshire’s win over Worcestershire
It will be a worry to England ahead of the T20 series against Sri Lanka next week.
Heather Knight frustrated to miss century in her 100th game as England captain
The England captain made 95 as the home side finished the opening day of the Test with India on 296 for six in Bristol.
Day one of England’s Test against India: Dunkley debuts and Knight excels
The hosts made 269 for six.
Heather Knight falls short of century as England falter after good start
The home side were 269 for six after day one of the Test against India in Bristol.
The talking points ahead of a big Test for England Women
India are the visitors for a four-day match at Bristol.
ECB ‘sorry’ as England Women forced to play India Test on used wicket
The pitch at Bristol was used for Gloucestershire’s Vitality Blast game against Sussex last week.
Heather Knight: Used wicket is not ideal for England’s Test with India
The first Test starts at Bristol’s County Ground on Wednesday.
Assistant coach Graham Thorpe urges England batsmen to show their ‘desperation’
The Test team are mulling over a first home series defeat in seven years after collapsing against New Zealand at Edgbaston.