Australia in SA

Smith: Tahir a big boost

2011-11-08 18:57
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith says leg spinner, Imran Tahir, is a great asset to their team, which in all likelihood suggests that the 32-year-old will make his Test debut against Australia at Newlands on Wednesday.

"Imran is a wonderful guy to have around and it's great for me as a captain to be able to throw the ball to him," Smith said on Tuesday.

"We just need to allow him to find his feet, as there will be a lot of hype around him, but he will build in confidence as the game goes on."

The Proteas have not played a Test since they drew against India in Cape Town in January, while the Baggy Greens arrived fresh off a Test-series win in Sri Lanka and also played a four-day warm-up match last week.

"Come tomorrow, I know the guys will be mentally in a good place and ready to go," Smith said.

"Australia are better prepared than us - that's the reality - and we would love to have had more time in our legs, so we've done as much as possible to make sure we come out and play good cricket for five days. That's all we can control."

Australia hold the upper hand on South African soil, having won the last two Test series' in the country, securing a 3-0 whitewash in 2006 and a 2-1 win in 2009.

South Africa's lone victory in that last series was at Newlands, where they crushed the visitors by an innings and 20 runs.

Smith said that result gave the team a sense of belief, but the players still needed to hit their straps to achieve success.

"Mentally we know we can beat Australia in Test cricket and we know how to beat them," he said.

"So there's an inner self-confidence that a lot of players have, and if we can get ourselves up to our levels, we can perform really well."

In a two-Test series, Smith said the hosts needed to get off to a good start and he was confident they could pull it off.

"With only two Tests, the first one becomes crucial and we need to start well.

"To beat Australia at home is an opportunity that we're really up for.

"We've covered all our bases and I know tonight the guys will go to bed believing that we can come out and match up in the five days."

Jacques Kallis, the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, has accumulated 11 947 runs, and needs only seven more to overtake Brian Lara, in fourth place, on the list of leading all-time scorers.

Read more on:    australia in sa  |  imran tahir

Biff bowled over by Gerrard

2014-04-17 14:14


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

06 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Colombo 06:15
09 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium 11:00
12 July 2014
Sri Lanka v South Africa, Hambantota 06:15
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.