Skipper Smith mulls over Nottingham mauling

Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008, 6:20 [IST]
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Nottingham: South African captain Graeme Smith says he will not be reading the riot act to his squad despite Tuesday's ten-wicket defeat to England which he labelled as one of the lowest points of his career.

Smith's jaded looking side were skittled out at Trent Bridge for just 83 as England won with 35.5 overs to spare and went 2-0 up in the five-match one day international series ahead of Friday's third game at the Oval.

The tourists have injury problems with Smith doubtful for the Friday with an elbow injury and the Morkel brothers, Albie and Morne, have both been struggling.

Smith said: "This is not the time for excuses - we have been outplayed - England are playing with huge motivation and huge aggression.

"We have got to find out what the problem is - we have got a lot of experience and we have got to tap into a bit of that.

"We have had times on this tour when we have had to look at each other honestly and find out what mistakes we are making. Our rhythm and confidence is not right. I don't think reading the riot act is going to help."

When asked if it was the worst defeat of his one-day international career Smith added: "Outside of World Cup semi-finals this is right down there in terms of lows - we did not assess conditions well enough.

"We have got to look at ourselves and match the England team in the way we have matched in the time that I have been involved. All of us need to get together.

"It was not a 280 wicket and that affected how we played. There was a bit of bounce but if we could have got 230 we could have put them under a pressure but when you are only chasing 80 you play with freedom."

England captain Kevin Pietersen stressed he would be trying to keep Matt Prior's feet on the ground after he equaled a world record with six catches and hit 45 not out after being reinstated in the one-day side three games ago.

Prior's haul included one stunning diving effort to dismiss Smith off Stuart Broad's bowling.

Pietersen said: "I am trying to get into him that it is really great to be on a wave but you have got to get to a level where you are cool and calm and deliver.

"After the catch I said it was a great catch but you have got a job to do - you are there to be focused. (After being dropped) he could have gone and felt sorry for himself but he has done a fantastic job. He is a hell of a batsman."


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