Sri Lankan cricketer, Roshen Silva admits the tour of West Indies has helped them get better at Test cricket and prepare for the battle against South African pace bowlers. With spin bowling dominating the Test series, Sri Lankan batsmen have to be ready for Philander, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada.
Earlier Sri Lanka levelled the Test series 1-1 against West Indies, winning the second Test match by four wickets. "Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander will be a huge challenge, but the toughest series for me was the one in the West Indies," Silva said on the eve of the first Test on Wednesday (July 11). "You can see how tough it is there given how Bangladesh have struggled there since.
"They kept a lot of grass on the pitches for the last two Tests there. There was also the challenge of having to face the pink ball under lights when it moves a lot. On top of which there had been wind as well. It was a really tough challenge. We have been working on playing reverse swing because South Africa have bowlers who bowl fast."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will depend on Rangana Herath and their supreme fast bowler Suranga Lakmal to produce a brilliant performance on their own home turf. Sri Lanka is currently standing on the sixth position in Test rankings whereas South Africa are number two.
"We realized in West Indies that we had good fast bowlers," gushed Silva. "Lahiru Kumara bowls at 148kmph, Suranga Lakmal can move the ball, and Kasun Rajitha also did well. The future of our seam bowling looks good."
The two sides are also scheduled to play 5 One-Day international games and one-off T20I which will take place on August 14.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)