South Africa pacer Dale Steyn looks to unsettle Sri Lanka batsmen in first Test
South Africa bowler Dale Steyn believes the Proteas have to take the Sri Lankan batsmen out of their comfort zone in the first Test which begins at Centurion tomorrow.
Steyn, the world's No1 Test bowler, sees the conditions as they key to success for the home side in Cape Town as the three-Test series gets under way.
"They grow up in sub-continental conditions where the ball is hitting the bat from the stickers down and we want to hit the bat on areas where they are unfamiliar, a little bit higher maybe and make it as uncomfortable for them as possible," Steyn told www.cricket.co.za.
Vernon Philander was named man of the series against Australia after taking 14 wickets and Steyn expects him to continue that form against Sri Lanka.
Steyn also described Philander as 'Vern McGrath', a reference to former Australia opening bowler Glenn McGrath as Philander is the bowler captain Graeme Smith turns to.
"Vernon is the kind of bowler who is fantastic to share the new ball with, we basically call him 'Vern McGrath' because he just bowls the ball all over the place and it nibbles around, it's nice to share the ball with somebody like him," added Steyn.
"When one of us gets taken off by the captain the next guy to step up is either Morne Morkel who has thunderbolts from 10 foot, or you have ( Jacques) Kallis who has been revving it up in the 140's (km/h) in the domestic game recently."
Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene has called on the younger players to prove they are up to the challenge of Test cricket in South Africa. He said: "We don't tour South Africa that often, so when we get an opportunity, it's a big occasion for us.
"The South African team has played some really good cricket. They've got some really good fast bowlers, and a good spinner now in Imran Tahir. As a unit they are very potent."
Jayawardene added: "There are a lot of little things we need to focus on. As a team, we have to be consistent in all departments."
Jayawardene believes getting off to a good start in the first Test is important for Sri Lanka."For the youngsters it's all about confidence. They have to try and play their natural game and not get overwhelmed by the occasion or the conditions or the opposition," Jayawardene told www.cricinfo.com.
After the first Test, South Africa face Sri Lanka at Kingsmead in Durban and Newlands in Cape Town.