We controlled the match from first day: Graeme Smith

April 5th, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by admin  

By Avishek Roy
Ahmedabad, April 5 (IANS) After inflicting a humiliating defeat to India in their backyard, victorious South African skipper Graeme Smith said his batsmen negotiated the new ball better as compared to the hosts to control of the match on the very first day. “The new ball had something to offer. Morning sessions in all the three days were tough to bat as the ball swung quite a bit. I think our batsmen played better,” Smith told reporters after defeating India by an innings and 90 runs in three days in the second Test here Saturday.

“Jacques’ (Kallis) 30th Test hundred is great for the team. Even A.B. de Villiers’ 217 is very special. His maiden double century is a great milestone in South African cricket,” he added.

Asked whether he would have preferred to bat if the toss had gone in his favour, Smith said: “We would have batted too. It was just the morning session that the batsmen would have been required to negotiate.”

“It was a good Test match for us. Although the boys were tired after the hard toil by the end of the day’s play, we are proud as a team of what we have achieved. We controlled the game throughout the course of the play,” said a jubilant Smith.

The 27-year-old Proteas skipper said his bowling attack had done a fantastic job by getting the famed Indian batting line-up out twice within three days.

“Out team’s bowling attack is very capable in these kind of conditions. We have amazing group of fast bowlers as well as good spinners in the side, and it was visible from our series in Pakistan last year,” he said.

Smith also lauded pacer Makhaya Ntini for spearheading the bowling attack. “It was a tough transition for Makhaya after Shaun Pollock’s retirement, because all the other bowlers in the side are very young.

“And since he has always been under pressure especially in the sub-continent, he has truly led by example in the series so far. He has provided us breakthroughs not just here, but even in Chennai.”

“We will try and stick to our game plan and basics in Kanpur,” Smith signed off optimistically.

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