SRI Lankan pitches are said to be ideal for slow bowlers, but Allan Donald believes they can also suit one of the fastest.
Dale Steyn, the top-ranked bowler in test cricket but only 20th in T20, is the man he has in mind.
Donald, once one of the best quick men in the world and now the South African bowling coach, says it is not only Steyn's skill with the ball but his leadership qualities that are key to potential success at the Twenty20 World Cup being played in Sri Lanka.
Steyn quickly backed up Donald's faith in him by taking four Kiwi wickets for just 25 runs off four overs on Monday during a warm-up match in Sri Lanka, ahead of the Proteas' opener tomorrow against Zimbabwe.
"He's an absolute champion," Donald said.
"He's the leader of the group. He acts like it at training and when he gets the ball in his hand in the middle.
"Monday was one of those days again. He is in control at the moment and he's in great form. He works very hard and he leads very well from the front."
Just how Steyn, or any of the bowlers involved in tomorrow's match, will fare on the pitch at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium is still a mystery, however, and Donald has spent the last few weeks trying to unravel its secrets.
The ground is close to Hambantota, one of the Sri Lankan towns hardest hit by the 2004 tsunami.
It has hosted only six ODIs and two T20s. In his research Donald even picked the brain of Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan. Not that Murali could help much because the pitch is new to him too. All that Murali could offer was that the wind howled from one end of the ground.
Also, it is not a particularly high- scoring venue, perhaps because the table is only three years old and still unsettled. "It's new for everybody," Donald said after yesterday's training session at the Moors Sports Club in Colombo.
It is a big ground with the average score being about 152 batting first.
"Teams batting first have won most of the time. We will keep our eye on it and see how it goes."
It seems South Africa will play two spinners for most of the tournament, but Donald was not giving too much away.
"We will see when we get to the ground.
"I'd love to go and see it for myself. It's as alien for us as it is for everyone else."
Donald did suggest that the square at the ground could contribute to reverse swing. "The squares are quite abrasive and we can expect the ball to reverse within 20 overs.
"That's something that we are targeting in a big way. It helped us a bit against New Zealand in the warm-up game. In any form of one-day game it is a big factor when the ball reverses."
South Africa will wait until just before the start of their match against Zimbabwe before deciding on the fitness of Albie Morkel.
The allrounder suffered back spasms during the warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday and his MRI scan proved inconclusive yesterday.
By late yesterday though, the injury had responded to treatment and Morkel was feeling more comfortable.
A late fitness test will be done tomorrow to determine his availability for the match.