Australia in SA

Proteas ready mentally - Smith

2011-11-08 22:31
Graeme Smith (File)
Cape Town - A new chapter in the epic war novel featuring South Africa and Australia will be scripted, starting in the Tests at Newlands on Wednesday.

Sign up for Sport24 promo mailers and win

The Proteas have had mixed fortunes against Australia in recent years. They tasted success during the historic series victory in Australia in 2008/2009 but they have not been able to achieve that feat at home.

“I think there is a fresh determination in the squad,” said Proteas captain, Graeme Smith.  “I think that the key factors we can take out of that series win in 2008/2009 are that mentally we know we can beat Australia in Test cricket, and we know how to beat them.

“I think that is in itself confidence that I think a lot of players in this team at the moment have, and we know that if we can get ourselves to the levels we can perform really well.” 

One of the enthralling features of the rivalry has been the intense on-field battles between individual players. It was prevalent during the Daryll Cullinan and Shane Warne era and more recently one that has lit up the battlefield has been the sometimes brutal affair between Smith and Mitchell Johnson.

“Myself and Mitch (Johnson) had some good battles, he’s a world class bowler,” said Smith. “He seems to really thrive in these conditions. I think he gets a certain new dimension to his bowling with the new ball here, he gets a little more shape than normal than he’s had over the last period of time, so that is a whole new aspect to facing him in South Africa.”

“I’ve also had my opportunities where I have got the better of him, I’ll need to find a away to hit the ball back at him to get fully back at him but that’s the nature of the game and the nature of opening the batting, you take your blows then you move on. Come tomorrow both of us will be fronting up again and that is exciting about sport.”

Smith will lead South Africa for a record 83rd time, and he has the opportunity of enforcing a first series victory over Australia at home since 1970. It is only a two-match series and without the ideal first-class preparation, the Proteas know that they have to be quick out of the starting blocks.

“It’s a little disappointing it is only a two Test match series, obviously we would have loved to take on Australia in a longer series but I think the first Test becomes crucial and, starting well in that  first Test,” said Smith.

“For us to have the opportunity to play against Australia at home and to beat them is an opportunity we are really up for.

“We are excited about it and I think we have covered as much of our bases as we can. I know tonight guys will go to bed believing they are ready and believing that we can come out and match up in the next five days.”

Read more on:    australia in sa  |  graeme smith


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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

All Blacks batter brave Tonga
Byrne: Israel Folau a 'freak'
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
England World Cup coaches barred
11 October 2015
India v South Africa, Kanpur 05:30
14 October 2015
India v South Africa, Indore 10:00
18 October 2015
India v South Africa, Rajkot 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result

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

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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