Smith lauds cricket's DRS
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith is comfortable with television referrals and the umpire decision review system (DRS) playing a larger role in international cricket.
South Africa's recent series in New Zealand was marred by criticism of the DRS, with the ball-tracking, hot-spot and snicko components coming up with results seemingly at odds with what was seen live.
England, meanwhile, have been struggling to adapt to the system in Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, their crease-bound batsmen falling to record numbers of lbw decisions via DRS.
"I did read a report that there were issues with the set-up of the cameras, which obviously isn't ideal, and there has been a lot of scepticism about the last bit of the ball-tracking," Smith told a news conference.
"But DRS has become an integral part of the game, it's great for the fans and I can't imagine playing without it.
"It was designed to take away the shocking decision and it's done that. I'd like to see it play a prominent part in international cricket," Smith added.
South Africa won the T20 and one-day sections of their tour to New Zealand, before dominating the Test series but being restricted to a 1-0 win due to bad weather and are confident ahead of tough tours of England and Australia.
"I definitely think we can beat both England and Australia away. We have a lot of the same players who did it in 2008-09, but we have an extra edge now in terms of the way we think about the way we play and train, plus there's the addition of players like Vernon Philander, Marchant de Lange and Lopsy (Lonwabo) Tsotsobe," Smith said.
"But we know those two teams play very well at home and you've got to handle the pressure of big crowds and the media being against you. England will have played a lot of competitive cricket by the time we get there and it's a tough place to win.
"So it's a very big tour for us, but we've crossed that hurdle before and we know we can do it," Smith said.
The burly left-hander led South Africa to a 2-1 series win in England in 2008 and they won the first two Tests of their three-match series in Australia later that year.
New coach Gary Kirsten was delighted by his team's performances in New Zealand.
"It was nice to be on tour, a long way from home, and to connect well as a team. We have lofty standards as a team and I thought we made great progress. The tour taught us about our strengths and capabilities," Kirsten said.
"I thought the bowling unit was outstanding, they bowled with real intensity and proved that they are a world-class attack. And the batting got better through the tour as well," said Kirsten.