South Africa look to its new breed of players

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Karachi: South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said on Wednesday his team's tour of Pakistan was a chance to bring on young players.

"We have a couple of good series coming up. So we have a chance to blood a young team that could carry us for a couple of years," Arthur told a news conference hours after South Africa arrived for two Tests and five one-day internationals.

"We both (South Africa and Pakistan) want to get up the Test rankings and that could make this series enthralling."

He said both nations were looking at the next generation of players, some of whose talents were on view in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in which Pakistan were beaten in Monday's final by India.

Arthur said his players had put behind them the disappointment of losing just one match and being eliminated from the Twenty20 tournament.

"It is disappointing but this is Test cricket and a new series. This is something players look forward too," he said.

The South Africans arrived amid heavy security and captain Graeme Smith said this was part of international sport and teams had to get used to it.

"I am not going to lie. It is different (from) back home. But it is not the first time we are coming to Pakistan. We are realistic about it," he said.

 "We have security men travelling with us round the world and it is something we have come to terms with and the security here is also fantastic. We trust the people on the job and that allows us to go out there and focus on our cricket."

Smith said he was looking forward to a good series in Pakistan, with a number of his players having had experience of playing in the sub-continent.

"Hopefully they can pass on their thinking and thought process and planning to the younger guys in the team in this series," he said.

Smith, who lost the 2003 Test series in Pakistan, said his team might feel the need for another specialist spinner on Pakistani pitches.

"But to have good bowling options you must have options back home. Right now we have Paul Harris and he has worked and prepared hard for this tour. He is a good bowler and hopefully he will deliver for us on the tour," he said.

Smith said he was not worrying about whether senior Pakistan players Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq would play in the Test series.

"We just believe in going about our usual thought process. But obviously Yousuf is a top-class player and was Test player of the year," he said.

"But I think Pakistan are also going through a rebuilding process and must get used to it."

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