While the weather in Centurion has not played its part this week, Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith remains hopeful that his bowling attack will be able to exploit local conditions against Sri Lanka.
Sporadic downpours have made it difficult for grounds staff to prepare a wicket conducive to seam bowling ahead of the first Test starting on Thursday.
“The wicket is looking very green and I think the guys have a small panic going on at the moment,” Smith said on Wednesday.
It would be essential for the SA attack to show aggression, the skipper believed, but they would need to stay in the right frame of mind.
“I think it is a different challenge for our batsmen as well,” he said.
“We have just come off a series(against Australia) in which all the bowlers we faced were over 145km and hour, and there are different challenges that we are going to face with the bowlers Sri Lanka have.”
The Proteas have played only two Tests in the last 11 months – against the Baggy Greens in November – and the skipper said they looked forward to the three-match series against the Sri Lankans.
“It is exciting to get your teeth into a proper Test series,” he said.
“It has been a very disjointed season so far for us – we’ve had the two Test matches, then a lot of our guys didn’t play for a few weeks.
“For us as a team, we now have the opportunity to sort of get stuck in for a month and a bit and really hopefully get some good momentum in the way that we play.”
To pull off a successful campaign in their first home tour against Sri Lanka in nine years, the skipper said the Proteas would need to be ruthless.
South Africa have won only one of their last seven Test series, and consistency would be key to clinching a confidence-boosting victory.
“We’ve played some really good Test cricket, especially at home,” Smith said.
“We just haven’t had that killer blow that could have won us those series.
“Instead of two out of three good sessions, if we can string three sessions together, that is something that is crucial for us.
“That is one reason why we probably haven’t gone on to beat those teams in the last few years – we had two good sessions and one average session.”
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have not won any of their last 14 Tests, though Smith believed they would prove a dangerous prospect.
“They are still a team I have a lot of respect for,” he said.
“They always find a way. They are a very crafty team.”