- Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur is looking forward to “locking horns” with fellow compatriot Mark Boucher.
- The Proteas host Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series with the first Test starting on Saturday in Pretoria.
- Arthur, who coached the Proteas from 2005-2010, believes that his local knowledge could bode well for the tourists.
Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur is relishing the prospect of “locking horns” with his fellow countryman Mark Boucher ahead of their two-match Test series against the Proteas.
Arthur began his illustrious international coaching career when he coached South Africa from 2005-2010.
Boucher was one of the integral senior members in Arthur’s Proteas side, which was then-captained by Graeme Smith.
Now, the South African duo will look to out battle each other ahead of Saturday’s first Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Arthur acknowledged to reporters on Monday that he is looking forward to facing Boucher and hailed his “aggressive” style.
“Mark Boucher and I go back a helluva long way and I am really looking forward to locking horns with him,” said Arthur, who also previously coached Pakistan.
“Boucher was an aggressive player and I’m sure he will be an aggressive coach too. I think South Africa will play good hard aggressive cricket and it’ll be up to us to match it.”
Arthur believes that his knowledge of the South African conditions could bode well for the visitors.
“There is a familiarity for me now walking into the grounds as I say, ‘Africa never leaves you’,” he said.
“I do know the conditions and I kind of know the psyche of the South Africans and I’ll know how they’ll attack us. That knowledge of the conditions will hopefully be of great benefit to us.”
In February last year, Sri Lanka made history by becoming the first subcontinent team to claim a series (2-0) win on South African shores.
Arthur, who was appointed as Sri Lanka’s head coach in December last year, is hoping to recreate those fond memories and improve with every series.
“Conditions are going to be totally different from what Sri Lanka had then but I had a look at the pitch at Centurion this morning and I expect it to be a good cricket wicket,” said Arthur.
“This South African series for us is massive, the last time Sri Lanka were here they won and we would love to replicate that.
“We want to create some consistency around selections and roles so every series is very important for us.
“If you play well and get some wins along the line, irrespective of conditions, you take confidence and belief, which is very powerful within a playing group,” added Arthur.
Play at SuperSport Park on Saturday starts at 10:00.