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Cricket: South Africa mull extra pace option to win series


South Africa's Dale Steyn (R) talks with team coach Russell Domingo during a practice session ahead of their second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Photo - Reuters

Colombo: South Africa, on the verge of a rare series win in Sri Lanka, are considering playing an extra fast bowler on the Singhalese SC track which is not as conducive to spin as the one in Galle.

South Africa played leg-spinner Imran Tahir and the off-spin of JP Duminy in the first Test which they won by 153 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

"I think it's unlikely we're going to go with two frontline spinners in this Test, Galle was probably the ideal venue if we were going to go down that route," captain Hashim Amla told reporters ahead of Thursday's second match.

"Traditionally it doesn't turn as much as early here.

"Over the last few years in this team the fast bowlers have managed to do the job wherever we've been in the world.

"In some ways it doesn't come as a big surprise that Dale (Steyn), Morne (Morkel) and Vern (Vernon Philander) have done it everywhere in the world.

"Coming to this venue, I haven't had a look at the wicket as yet today, but I'll see what kind of team we'll have to go to get the best results," he said.

Amla hoped his fast bowlers who did the bulk of the bowling at Galle had enough time to recover.

"It was a physically demanding Test. From a recovery perspective, we've tried to give the guys time to get their bodies in the best nick possible, especially the fast bowlers, whose workload was quite considerable.

"We've tried to manage the quick turnaround, South Africa have not won a test series in Sri Lanka since 2003 under the leadership of Kepler Wessels.

"I don't think that record is playing on our minds what's more in our minds is playing good cricket over the next five days," Amla said.

"We tried to basically forget what happened in the last Test and we managed to play really good cricket there and come up with a victory.

"From a team perspective we're addressing this game as if we're coming in on a clean slate."

South Africa are likely to retain Quinton de Kock as wicketkeeper after he came into the team in Galle because AB de Villiers was struggling with a hamstring injury.

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