Sri Lanka in SA

Proteas eager to make amends

2011-12-24 10:10
Graeme Smith (File)
Durban - Captain Graeme Smith and the Proteas will be out to finish the year on a winning note when the last Test match of the year starts at Kingsmead here on Monday.

GALLERY: 2011 in review

The Proteas lead Sri Lanka 1-0 after their innings and 81-run win in Centurion, and can end the year with a series-clinching win at the elusive Kingsmead.

“The preparation is going to be important again, making the most of our time over this time of the year is always crucial,” said Smith.

“Over Christmas it is important that you maintain your focus, so our preparation is a key factor to that.  Gary (Kirsten) has stressed to us that we are in the process of improving certain facets of our game and our preparation is a crucial factor in that.”
 
The Proteas have a poor recent record at Kingsmead, losing their last three consecutive Test matches to Australia, England and India since 2009. With that in mind, Smith and his troops will be even more motivated to overturn their poor form at the ground.

Also on the cards are a few personal milestones, with Dale Steyn playing in his 50th Test match for South Africa and with AB de Villiers just 15-runs shy of becoming only the sixth South African to score 5000-Test runs.

“It has been extremely disappointing the way that we have played here at Kingsmead, all of us in the squad know that,” said Smith, when he was asked about being apprehensive of playing at Kingsmead.

“I certainly don’t come here with any self-doubt or things in my mind as to why we haven’t performed well here. I’m here now, it’s a fresh five days that lie ahead of us, I want to turn that around, I want to perform well here and I think everyone in the team feels the same way. That positive mindset and wanting to turn that around at Kingsmead is something we are all focused on.” 

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