Port Elizabeth - The timing of Cricket South Africa's (CSA) announcement of player contracts has been difficult for some of the players to handle, Proteas captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.
"It's tough. My role is just to keep them focused on what's important," he said ahead of Thursday's second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth.
"Tomorrow, if they get the opportunity to play, hopefully it's a chance to put that right and show people that they are worthy.
"It's another curve ball that's tough to deal with, but we just have to find a way."
New contracts were awarded to Quinton de Kock and David Miller, neither of whom were part of the Proteas Test squad, while Dean Elgar's and Thami Tsolekile's contracts were not renewed.
As the pair (Elgar and Tsolekile) are both part of the Test squad in the three-Test series against Australia, the awkward timing of naming the contracted players became the focus of discussion in Smith's pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
CSA contracted players:
Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Highveld Lions), AB de Villiers (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Imran Tahir (Highveld Lions), Rory Kleinveldt (Cape Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Knights), David Miller (Dolphins), Morne Morkel (Titans), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Alviro Petersen (Highveld Lions), Robin Peterson (Cape Cobras), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Graeme Smith (Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Highveld Lions)