Tester for test

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October 27, 2016
Tester for test

FOCUS: Coach Neil McKenzie

SA tackle the red ball ahead of Aussie series.

The  Proteas kick off their preparations for their Test series against
Australia today.

After a warm-up match with the pink ball under lights in their first tour match Down Under, they get back to the red ball in a two-day tour match against a South Australia Cricket Association (SACA) XI in Adelaide.

And Proteas batting coach Neil McKenzie says the players need to fine-tune their mental and technical skills after the novelty of the pink ball ahead of the first Test match against Australia starting in Perth next Thursday.

He says: “With the pink ball it was about getting used to the conditions, the seam and
batting under lights.

“It moved around a little bit under lights like we saw, with the spinners it was harder to pick up the black seam, but the guys adjusted well, we are looking forward to that
challenge.

“It’s back to the red ball.

“It’s about getting the
technique organised and
getting the mind right.

“We have been here just over a week, settling into time zones, guys will look to do what they normally do in a practice match, top up their levels and get the mental side good for a Test match starting in a few days.”

The Proteas have won their last two Test series on Aussie soil.

But McKenzie, who was part of the squad in the 2008/9 triumph, says they are under no illusion of the threat their current
opponents pose, especially in their own backyard.

The former opening batsman says: “I don’t think you can ever be underrated, especially Australia.

“There is a rich history, a lot of tradition and pride in their performances.

“It was great to get the 5-0 win but that is the one-day setup.

“We are back in Australia’s backyard, there is a lot of pride to play for and Test cricket is the ultimate. We enjoyed the win but it’s completely
different now.”

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