Australia in SA

Smith: Bat, ball to do the talk

2014-02-28 14:13
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa captain Graeme Smith expects an even contest between bat and ball to set up a thrilling finale in the series-deciding third Test against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

The wicket has been a key factor in the opening two Tests, a lively pitch helping Mitchell Johnson bowl Australia to a 281-run win in the series opener in Pretoria and a slower and more abrasive surface in Port Elizabeth aiding South Africa to get prodigious reverse-swing and claim a 231-run win.

"It looks like a really good Test wicket and will have something for both bat and ball," Smith told reporters on Friday.

"It can get a bit flat and slow towards the back end if it is hot, but it has also changed of late and there has been a bit more in it than in the past."

The Proteas captain said he expected a different type of wicket to the one that saw Australia bowled out for 47 in their second innings in 2011.

"I think the wicket has settled down quite a bit since then.

"That Test was also played in November just after winter."

Smith denied that the South African team had asked Newlands curator Evan Flint for any specific type of wicket or that they had done so ahead of the second Test.

"Port Elizabeth has been exactly the same for the last 40 years, I'm amazed that so much was made of the wicket after the Test.

"We knew exactly what to expect down there and we were the team that adapted best to the conditions."

Smith has scored 37 runs in four innings in the series, but felt in good form and was looking forward to playing on a ground where he averages 52 over his career.

"I feel like I have been batting well the whole season, it is just these last two games. In Pretoria I felt I was unlucky there and I let myself down in Port Elizabeth.

"My training has gone well, mentally I feel in a good space. I have ticked all the boxes, it's now about going out there tomorrow and getting in."

Having former coach and fellow left-handed opener Gary Kirsten back with the squad this week in a consultancy role has been a boost, Smith said.

"It's always nice to have Gary back, he always adds value with his calmness, experience and work rate.

"He is a great asset to us."

Proteas coach Russell Domingo said that Australia opener David Warner's suggestion that AB de Villiers had been tampering with the ball in the second test would add extra-motivation to the side.

Smith himself was clearly seething.

"He is becoming a little bit of a rent-a-quote.

"My thoughts are strong and I will probably say something towards the end of the Test match.

"It's sad that it took the gloss off a great Test win and a great performance."

Read more on:    proteas  |  ozinsa  |  graeme smith  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

R5m for Test-best Proteas

2014-04-15 14:01

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
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
Vote

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.