Centurion [South Africa], December 25 (ANI): Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne feels the side can manage without the services of pace spearhead Suranga Lakmal only if they manage to pile runs on the board. Lakmal, who is Sri Lanka's most-consistent bowler, picked up a niggle ahead of the first Test and is doubtful for the Boxing Day Test.
Karunaratne believes the Sri Lankan side might lack experience, but they have plenty of options available when it comes to selecting the pace attack. The skipper feels both sides are equally placed when it comes to their bowling department and the batting will decide the fate of the Test series.
"We're going to need the fast bowlers at Centurion and Wanderers. Last time we came to South Africa we didn't have many options -- Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera weren't here. This time we do have that strength, and we will need it," ESPNcricinfo quoted Karunaratne as saying.
"If the opposition thinks that we don't have a lot of pace or bounce in our team, that emboldens them to use their conditions even more against us. But on this tour, we have fast bowlers, and if you look at pace, we're about equal," he further said.
"I think the batsmen will be the difference. Whoever is the better batting side has a good chance of winning the series," the skipper added.
Earlier this week, Karunaratne revealed Sri Lanka's new jersey for the longest format games. Also, Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock have been appointed as the on-field umpires by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The first Test will be played from December 26 in Centurion while the second match is scheduled to begin on January 3 in Johannesburg. (ANI)