Amla warns against complacency
South Africa captain Hashim Amla has warned his players to forget last week's opening Test victory against Sri Lanka on the eve of the second Test in Colombo.
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Amla made a winning start to life as the Proteas' Test skipper on Sunday, earning a 153-run victory against the Sri Lankans in Galle to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
South Africa, who won the three-match one-day international series 2-1 before the Tests, travel to Colombo hoping to clinch a 2-0 Test series triumph and Amla wants his players to focus on playing good cricket in the coming days.
"I don't think that record (the 1-0 lead) is playing on our minds," he said on Cricket South Africa's website. "What's more in our minds is playing good cricket over the next five days.
"Coming into this Test it's important that we come here with a clean slate and continue to do the same basics here well."
There has only been a three-day break in between the two Tests and Amla concedes there might be some tired legs in the South Africa camp come Monday.
"It (Galle) was a physically demanding Test," the 31-year-old batsman said. "From a recovery perspective, we have tried to give the guys as much time to get their bodies in the best nick as possible, especially the fast bowlers.
"There is not much that you can do about the tight turnaround but we have tried to manage it as much as possible."
Spinner Imran Tahir has come in for some criticism after taking just one wicket in the opening Test, but his captain has backed him to prove his doubters wrong at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.
Amla said: "I'm not too concerned about Imran. He is a quality performer, we know, because he has been successful in the shorter format.
"Test cricket is a challenging place but I'm sure he will come good here as well. It takes a few good performances here and there to get the confidence up."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews admits his side were below their best in the first Test and he is hoping for a marked improvement from his players.
Speaking on Sri Lanka Cricket's website, the 27-year-old all-rounder said: "To be honest we didn't play good cricket. That is the only reason for our loss in Galle.
"South Africa did reverse swing the ball, but our batsmen have faced reverse-swinging balls before, especially against Pakistan. We are used to that. It's not at all an excuse for our defeat.
"We will go all out to try and win this game. If we lose 2-0 it doesn't matter, as long as we are trying to win."