South Africa 'A' captain Faf du Plessis.

South Africa's next tier of Proteas players, the A side, take on Sri Lanka A in the first four-day match of the visitors' tour starting in Durban on Saturday.

High Performance coach Vincent Barnes is in charge of the squad, alongside captain Faf du Plessis.

“It's an important tour for a lot of these cricketers,” Barnes said.

“If they want to play for South Africa at the highest level this is where they need to put in the performances. It is not only about the individuals. As a team we want to go out there and play good cricket. It's not often that we have quality international opponents to compete against, and this is an opportunity for the players to test their skills.”

The squad has been training at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria for the past week, where they have focused on fitness, mental aspects of the game as well as the strategy for the up-coming series.

Dean Elgar, a player who has consistently excelled for the Knights, will have another opportunity to stake his claim for national honours after missing out on his opportunity against the touring Sri Lankans early this year due to a knee injury.

“We've had a very good week together. We have prepared really well,” Elgar said.

“This tour is massive for us. It's great that the “A” side is being given these kind of opportunities against international counterparts and it gives players like us the drive and motivation to do well because we are striving to play for South Africa one day.”

The teams will play two four-day matches in Durban, followed by a One-Day Triangular series also featuring Zimbabwe A to be played in Harare. The final 15-member squad will be announced on Wednesday. – Sapa