Proteas aim for ‘comprehensive beating’ of world champions Australia

February 26th, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb 26 (ANI): South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said that his team aims to follow its recent series win in Australia with a home triumph that will represent a “comprehensive beating” of the world champions.

Speaking on the eve of the first Test which starts at the Wanderers Stadium today, Smith said his players were “relaxed and focused” ahead of the most eagerly anticipated series in South Africa since the country returned to international cricket in 1991.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence out of (winning in) Australia but there’s definitely a feeling of feet on the ground and wanting to achieve more,” FOX Sports quoted Smith, as saying.

Smith said the series win in Australia was something that “no-one can take away from you,” but there had not been much time to savour the triumph.

“It’s a quick turnaround and we’ve got to hit the ground running. We’d like to keep taking those big strides forward. If we can beat them at home that will be a comprehensive beating of Australia home and away and that’s something we really want to achieve.”

With the possibility of bowler-friendly conditions following recent rain, Smith said it would not necessarily be an equalising factor for Australia’s all-pace attack.

Australia are likely to field two new players among their top six batsmen in Phil Hughes and Marcus North, but Smith said his bowlers were well prepared.

Australia meanwhile named a squad of 12 for the match, leaving out the only two specialist spinners in their party, Bryce McGain and Nathan Hauritz.

Skipper Ricky Ponting said he had not personally seen the pitch, but teammates had told him it was “soft and tacky” when they saw it Tuesday.

Ponting said he was looking forward to leading a young team in an important series. (ANI)

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