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Sri Lanka brace for 'huge challenge' in S.Africa

AFP  |  Colombo 

returned home victorious from their Zimbabwe tour but the national coach warned his side faced a "huge challenge" in next month.

Having comfortably beaten Zimbabwe in both Tests in Harare, also lifted the triangular series trophy on Sunday, beating the hosts by six wickets in the final.

Although regular skipper Angelo Mathews and Chandimal missed the entire tour due to injury, rarely felt their absence as they lost just one game in the process of clinching the tri-series, which also involved the But even as Mathews told reporters yesterday that both he and Chandimal had recovered and were ready to play, national coach Graham said the tour in December would be a different ball game.

He said the players would have to improve in all three aspects of the game -- batting, bowling and fielding -- when they face the formidable Proteas.

"We've got a huge challenge coming our way," said shortly after arriving in Colombo.

"Everybody knows how well is playing. We have to improve in all three disciplines," he said, adding that particular attention would have to be paid to fielding.

Sri Lanka, which also won a three-match home Test series against top ranked Australia in August, is ranked above Zimbabwe and the in both Test and ODI formats but below South Africa.

The team leaves for South Africa in the middle of December for three Tests, three T20 matches and five ODIs.

said conditions in South Africa would be different to what they experienced in Zimbabwe and the selectors would have to take that into account when naming a squad.

But Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said the team had received a huge boost with the latest win.

"We are rebuilding our team and we have a wonderful coach," Sumathipala said of Ford, a former South African player.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 30 2016. 09:42 IST