Smith expects Oz backlash during Boxing Day Test

December 24th, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 24 (ANI): South African skipper Graeme Smith has said that Australia will hit back hard after going 1-0 down in the three match Test series.

Australia fought bloody hard in Perth and we just managed to stand toe-to-toe with them. They will fight even harder in front of the MCG crowd and we may have to go even further into unexplored territory to stay with them again and, hopefully, cross the line first, Smith said.

There is no need for me to ask these players to re-focus on the Boxing Day Test and there is no need to ask them to stop celebrating. They have already done that, Smioth said.

It is fair to say that in all our team meetings and strategy sessions before the series, and before the Test match, in all the conversations we had about how we were going to win, scoring over 400 in the final innings never cropped up!

He said that it was an unforgettable Test and, as disappointed as Australians will be, it takes two teams to produce that kind of contest and provide that sort of entertainment.

Three years ago we fought very, very hard and, despite the 2-0 scoreline, I felt we had several opportunities to win but we didn”t take them. But we also didn”t forget them. It’’s vital to use the lessons you learn in defeat in order to be able to win, Smith added.

We tried never to look at the finish line, from when Australia were 3-15 after six overs on the first day to when we needed 187 on the last day. But I wont lie - the first time I breathed a sigh of relief, when I knew wed won, was when we reached 400, not 414! Even Australia couldnt take 6-13 . . . could they?

Commenting on criticism of certain Australian, Smith said that he has no comments, adding that we have also wrestled with the question of when to allow great cricketers to leave and when to urge them back to their best and it’’s hard, for everyone concerned.

But there are some legends still in the Australian team and I know how great cricketers react when their pride is hurt. As I said, it was one of the great Test matches. I know how desperate they will be turn things around and that makes me wary, he said. (ANI)

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