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Patient Proteas needed in Port Elizabeth

Press Association logoPress Association 24/12/2016

Russell Domingo believes patience could be the key to success when South Africa attempt to end 2016 on a high against Sri Lanka.

The Proteas head coach has led his side on an impressive run of results in the second half of the year, including series wins against New Zealand and Australia.

They begin their three-match series with Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day and Domingo feels his players possess the skills to deal with one of the slower wickets in South Africa.

"It's a big series for us," Domingo told Cricket South Africa's official website.

"We have been playing some good Test match cricket of late and to continue that form and the brand of cricket that we want to play is of paramount importance for us.

"We feel that the wicket (in Port Elizabeth) suits us to a degree. The ball tends to reverse swing here because of the abrasive wicket which helps our seamers.

"It's never historically been a fast wicket, it's a wicket where you have to be patient and you have to grind out runs. That's the strength of this particular side, our levels of patience and being able to withstand those types of periods."

South Africa, captained by Faf du Plessis, have a number of players missing due to injury, including AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Rilee Rossouw, while VKB Knights captain Theunis de Bruyn could win his first cap after being selected in the 13-man squad.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the first Test, Du Plessis said: "People expect us to beat Sri Lanka but that's not certain.

"They have played really good cricket over time. They have also lost some key players, but they are a quality cricket team, they've got exceptional spin bowlers."

An injury-hit Sri Lanka warmed up for South Africa with a series victory in Zimbabwe last month.

The Lions will have captain Angelo Mathews and deputy Dinesh Chandimal available again at St George's Park, with the sides scheduled to meet again in Cape Town and Johannesburg in January.

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