Smith quietly confident

2012-10-27 16:37
Graeme Smith (Gallo)
Johannesburg - The Proteas were quietly confident of success in Australia as they prepared to leave for their three-Test tour of the country, captain Graeme Smith said on Saturday.

"We've earned the right to go there with that mantle [of being the number one Test team] through the way we've played over the last period of time," he said.

"We know we've got a quality team that's proved its ability to win away from home.

"We knew the two tours [to England and Australia] were coming this year. Both were going to be tough and we've overcome one of those hurdles, and we'd like to do the next one."

Coach Gary Kirsten concurred with the Proteas captain.

"We are going to make sure we prepare as diligently as possible. We went to England in the same way," Kirsten said.

"We wanted to prepare really well. We didn't want to say too much [because] we wanted to make our performances count."

South Africa claimed the world number one ranking with a 2-0 Test series victory over England in August and Smith felt his side were in good shape to produce another solid performance.

"For me, I would say its one of our strongest touring squads to go to Australia," he said.

As the only South African skipper to win in Australia, Smith said he had not given Mickey Arthur's presence in the opposing change room much thought, since his responsibility lay with leading and performing in the South African team.

Arthur was head coach when South Africa beat Australia 2-1 in Australia in 2009.

"If I lose sleep over what Mickey's telling Australia, then it's going to affect how we prepare as a team," he said.

With much talk centering around the looming pace battle between the fast bowlers, Smith stressed the importance of adapting to the foreign conditions as quickly as possible.

"Two of the Tests -- Brisbane and Perth -- could be quite fiery from the sounds of things... how we adapt to what the conditions are going to be is going to be more important than comparing each other."

On the fitness front, AB de Villiers had received the required three-week treatment for his back injury and was expected to be fit for the first Test in Brisbane starting on November 9.

South Africa open their tour with a three-day match against Australia A in Sydney starting on November 2.

Read more on:    proteas  |  graeme smith  |  cricket


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