Toss didn't decide Centurion test: Smith

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Published: Friday, December 24, 2010, 14:27 [IST]
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Toss didn't decide Centurion test: Smith

Aggressively opposing claims that the toss for the Centurion Test was a crucial one to have won, South Africa captain Graeme Smith said that had his side batted first, they would have definitely negotiated the damp surface better than India ended up doing.

"I still believe that we could have handled that situation better. I would like to insist that wicket was helping bowlers when we batted for first 40-odd overs," the South African captain stated in reference to India's 136 all-out in the first innings.

Smith was clearly taking a dig at the much-celebrated Indian batting line-up and is sticking it to them for a more challenging show at Durban. He also insisted that the match pivoted on South Africa's brisk scoring.

"I think that the scoring rate we achieved done the trick for us as we were left with lot more time to get India out twice," the Proteas skipper added.

The skipper stated that by inflicting a humiliating defeat on the opposition, his team will be riding high before they take on Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men for the second time in the series.

"Look, we have won last Test match by innings and 25 runs. We are certainly going to take that confidence with us in the second Test match. On the other side doubts will certainly creep into the Indian team. But we aren't thinking too far ahead. We are focussing on the process and preparing well for this match," he said.

However, the southpaw cautioned against complacency from his side, saying that he expected quite a fightback from India.

"I expect much more fight back from the India team. They have loads of experience. They will come out fighting in this Test match especially in the batting department. Don't forget this if fight between top two teams in Test cricket."

Smith is confident that his bowlers can sort out Virender Sehwag who showed glimpses of his devastating prowess with the willow during the second innings.

"That's the way Sehwag plays. He backs his ability and if he gets going then he takes the game away from the opposition.

Smith is however wary that South Africa has had an unsuccessful run at Kingsmead, losing the last two Tests to England.

"Yes, we have lost last two Test matches played here at Kingsmead. Honestly speaking, we were not good enough in all five days while playing against England. We have spoken about it and will handle the situation better this time around," he answered.

Commenting on the nature of the Kingsmead pitch, Smith said,"We expect same type of bounce and carry on the Kingsmead wicket. We all know that conditions have been wet over here but now the sun is beating down. So you can expect a good wicket which will also offer some turn."

Hopefully, India will be able to take heed of all Smith has said and pull up their socks for the upcoming encounter.


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