Smith said India's batting wears a different look, especially after the recent retirements of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, and would be a tough challenge for inexperienced batsmen in the two-match series.
"Obviously they're hugely talented but it's a very different line-up to the one I've become accustomed to playing against," Smith told reporters.
"Touring in other parts of the world is a big test of character and that's going to be on show in these two Test matches."
Following the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, India's likely top six have a total of 59 Test caps between them.
"The way we have played has been hugely successful for us. We play the game hard but there's a huge respect factor for the game and our opposition. As the number one team, I would like to see us play some good cricket."
Smith said he expects the going to be difficult for batsmen in the first innings due to the moisture in the Wanderers pitch.
"Both first innings are probably going to be tough. There's a bit of moisture in that wicket and some good cracks. I expect it to be a normal Wanderers wicket of recent times, hopefully with good pace and bounce."
South Africa Team: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.