Proteas to target Hayden, Symonds

December 1st, 2008 - 5:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Dec.1 (ANI): The South African cricket team coach Mickey Arthur has said that the bowlers will target opener Mathew Hayden and all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the forthcoming series.
“[Symonds''s] issues are something we”ve definitely talked about,” Arthur told the Herald.
“We have been following what’’s been happening, and obviously that drama at the pub can”t have helped his peace of mind. There has been a lot of chat about it in our dressing rooms. His temperament is something we”ve picked up on. We haven”t spoken directly yet as to how we might take advantage of it, but it’’s certainly something that has our attention, he added.
“We”ve also been talking amongst ourselves as to whether [Hayden] will be the Sydney retiree this year. It seems that there is one every year, and I”ve noticed some of his comments about his future in the game where he hasn”t ruled that out. That can create uncertainty within a team. It will be interesting to get there and see first-hand just how all this is affecting them,” he said.
The South Africans arrive in Perth next Sunday with renewed belief that they can end Australia’’s five-year reign as ICC Test champions.
A series draw in India and a win in England this year have done much to rebuild the confidence shredded by their heavy home-and-away defeat to Australia in 2005-06, and the emergence of tearaways Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel has bestowed their attack with a menace factor not seen since the days of Allan Donald.
But it is the performance of the South African batsmen that has most convinced Arthur that victory in Australia is achievable this time around.
Three members of the Proteas” top order have exceeded 1000 runs this calendar year, with captain Graeme Smith leading all international batsmen with 1363 at 71.73 in 13 Tests.
“That’’s an amazing feat, and shows you just what kind of a year we”ve had,” Arthur said.
“We could even have five of our top six over 1000 by the end of the year. They”ve shown great skill and mental toughness on different surfaces around the world. We have been working for two years to put this team together - a team that is ready to meet the challenges of playing in Australia. We feel like we have the talent and the momentum right going into this series, he said.
Steyn, Morkel and Makhaya Ntini are all among the top 10 Test wicket-takers in the world this year - Steyn leads all comers with 60 wickets at 19.41 - and a hard, bouncy WACA Ground pitch should play to their strengths. (ANI)

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