Batting coach Justin Sammons backs South Africa to come back hard in Australia Test series

Proteas batting coach Justin Sammons is backing the tourists to hit back and challenge Australia when the two teams lock horns in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

The Proteas lost a low-scoring series opener inside two days in Brisbane this past week, going 1-0 down in the three-match series.

It is not an unfamiliar position for the Proteas to be in after going behind in recent series' against India and New Zealand before hitting back.

"Over the past year funnily enough we have played our best cricket when we have been behind," Sammons told the media on Friday. "So I think the group's taken confidence in what we've done in the past when it comes to coming from behind.

"We came from behind in the series against India last December when we were 1-0 down and won 2-1. We did it in New Zealand when we were 1-0 down and we came back in the second Test there to draw the series, so it's not something we're afraid of doing.

"The boys are up for the challenge and we know we've done it before and we're confident we can do it again."

The Proteas top-order came under the spotlight after their poor showing in bowler-friendly conditions during that first Test and also on the back of some below-par displays earlier in the year, but Sammons has backed the batters to come good as the series progresses.

The tourists were bundled out for paltry totals of 152 and 99 at the Gabba as they fell to a six-wicket defeat.

"We've got to keep the belief and the players do have the belief," Sammons explained. "We haven't played to our potential in the last couple of Tests and we are also determined to get it right.

"The guys are out there doing their best behind the scenes and I'm confident that they are going to get it right."

Sammons insists the Proteas batters will not carry any mental scarring from the first Test and will blame conditions or the pitch for any shortcomings.

He said: "Both teams play on it at the end of the day and we can't use the conditions as an excuse.

"The bottom line is we didn't play to our potential and if we did, we would have had a better chance of winning the game. So yeah, the surface is for both teams to play on and it's who adapts best.

"They showed that in the first Test and we've got to make sure we correct that in this Test regardless of the conditions."

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