News24

Smith: Oz win stepping stone

2012-12-05 13:21

Cape Town - South Africa want to use their recent series win in Australia as a stepping stone to cement their position as the world's dominant Test team and to build something "really special", captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.

The Proteas, who have not lost an away test series since 2006, won their second consecutive series in Australia after their victory in the third test in Perth. They have a rating of 123 in the Test rankings, with England in second place on 117.

South Africa take on New Zealand in a two-Test home series in January and Smith said the tests would provide the Proteas the opportunity to build on the momentum from Australia.

VIDEO: Proteas receive heroes' welcome

"We are enjoying the opportunity to be here. We have worked hard to be here and we knew that Australia would be the big stepping stone for us holding onto number one (ranking)," Smith told a news conference.

"We have given ourselves the opportunity for our home summer to create a bit of a gap between us and the other teams. It is an opportunity to build something really special. The motivation for us will be to beat New Zealand first up," he added.

South Africa's success in the test arena has led to some calling the current Proteas team the best ever, but coach Gary Kirsten was quick to play down such suggestions.

"It is a very special achievement for the Proteas and South African cricket. I don't think that what this team has achieved, over a long period, should be taken lightly," said Kirsten.

"It has been nothing short of remarkable. We have played 10 Test matches this year, nine away from home, and won series in England and Australia.

"But it is always difficult to compare (different eras). In terms of this team's achievements there is no doubt that they are up there but I think that the players would be reluctant to compare with different eras."

South Africa, who became the first team to win consecutive series in Australia since West Indies in 1992/93, had found success due to a growing maturity in the squad, Smith said.

"Having players that are able to perform around the world is a key factor and our understanding of how to be successful away from home.

"When you go to another country you have to figure out how do we win here, how do we deal with the pressures of performing in front of someone else's media and crowds and handling everything that comes with that."

Reuters

Comments
  • lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-12-05 13:28

    Get goosebumps thinking about what this squad has achieved and can achieve in the future

  • andrew.d.adams.1 - 2012-12-05 13:37

    There is a lot of talk about bringing the talented Q de Kock into the test side. Long term he's definitely the answer but the proteas should immediately include him in the T20 and ODI side first and only include him in the test side in a year or so.

      manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-05 13:55

      I agree. Get him involved in the Proteas set up before being thrown into test cricket. I watched him bat against the Titans last month when he got his hundred. Very promising player!

  • manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-05 13:52

    I like the way Gary Kirsten responds to the question. He gives the guys lots of credit by admitting they are up there with one of the best sides in the country's history. He doesn't give them too much praise which suggests that lots of work still needs to be done to cement their number one ranking. Gary was always a focused and tactical player. Qaulities that are evident in the way he coaches. We are also blessed to have this generation of gifted players. The future looks bright for SA Cricket!

  • wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-12-05 13:55

    Legend

      wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-12-05 14:45

      wait for it . . . . . . .

      wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-12-05 14:45

      dary!

      wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-12-05 14:45

      LEGENDARY!

  • nhlapop - 2012-12-05 14:37

    Indeed. Once again. Weldone.

  • nick.collis.16 - 2012-12-05 17:13

    Don't want to rain on the parade but.....to stay No 1 we need a bit of cover for Dale , Morne and Vern . Fast bowlers are notoriously injury prone. Kleinveldt did OK but is not going to cause sleepless nights. A fit Marchant De Lange is a must but outside of him...is there any one else out there with some real pace ?

      selina.tsele - 2012-12-05 18:13

      Not too sure what the thumbs down was all about. But I have to agree. I think we are generally thin on back ups and particularly to the bowlers. Thanks heavens the main players never really injure. Imagine having to play without an injures Jakes and a Stynie in a test...

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