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Patience key in Boxing Day Test - Russell Domingo

Russell Domingo (right) believes the pitch in Port Elizabeth will benefit South African seamers
Russell Domingo (right) believes the pitch in Port Elizabeth will benefit South African seamers

South Africa head coach Russell Domingo has warned his team of the slow nature of pitch in Port Elizabeth ahead of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka.

South Africa have played 26 Tests in the venue previously and have won 10 and lost 11 so far.

Since 2013, Proteas have played three Tests at St. George's Park and have registered two huge wins over New Zealand and Australia while the third game against West Indies ended in a draw because of rain.

Speaking to the reporters, Domingo believes the wicket might suit the South African seamers better but urged them to remain patient because of the slowness in it.

“The guys love coming to Port Elizabeth,” said Domingo.

“We feel that the wicket suits us to a degree. The ball tends to reverse swing here because of the abrasive wicket which helps our seamers.

“If there is a little bit of an Easterly (wind) or overhead conditions, we are able to exploit those conditions as well.

“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.”

After losing their number one spot in the International Cricket Council Test rankings, South Africa have been found wanting especially during the home Test series against England.

However, they bounced back with a home series victory against Black Caps and followed it with an away series victory over Australia and Domingo had high praises for the youngsters.

"(Opener) Stephen Cook has two test hundreds in six matches, (fast bowler) Kagiso Rabada and (middle-order batsman) Temba Bavuma have won test matches for us.

"Those young players, once they perform, feel like they belong and that takes a lot of pressure off them and allows them to free up and put in more of those performances.”

Following the first Test in Port Elizabeth, both South Africa and Sri Lanka will play their remaining two fixtures in Cape Town and Johannesburg on 2nd and 12th January respectively.

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