South African team ecstatic after series win Down UnderDecember 31st, 2008 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Dec 31 (IANS) The South African team were visibly delighted over their historic victory against Australia.Such was the enormity of their emphatic win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Tuesday, those pivotal to their success struggled to find words to describe their jubilation.
“I don’t know what the word is to describe what I am feeling right now,” said Dale Steyn, man of the match in the second Test that clinched South Africa their first series victory on Australian soil.
“I am just privileged that I have got this tick next to the one battle I wanted to win,” Steyn was quoted as saying in the Australian.
The Proteas inflicted Australia’s first series loss at home since 1992-93 after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Smiles were plentiful and wide, from veteran fast bowler Makhaya Ntini as he high-fived ecstatic Proteas supporters in the MCG stands to champion all-rounder Jacques Kallis, the man who had time and again been a member of shell-shocked South African sides falling at the final hurdle against Australia.
“It is up there with winning the World Cup, if not better,” Kallis said.
“What better place do you want to do it? I have had some individual high moments here but … this takes the cake, having won a Test match here. All the younger generation, I don’t think they appreciate just how tough a place Australia is to tour.”
Skipper Graeme Smith gracefully refused the temptation to boldly declare a new world cricket order, despite overwhelming evidence to suggest it.
“To sit here knowing that we have accomplished this and we have done it is incredible. It is a difficult one to describe. You have just got to smile and often that is the best way to describe it.”
“It has got to be the best,” Smith said.
“I mean, no disrespect for anything that has gone before us, because we are very respectful of the history of our game and all the people who had opportunities before us and the people who never had opportunities. But I think for us, it has got to be the most incredible season South Africa has ever had,” Smith said.
Smith has now achieved what no other Proteas captain could through brilliant batting and leadership of a superb support cast.
“I think the challenge is to maintain the levels we have played at,” he said.
“That is something that you have got to give Australia credit for what they did. To perform at that level for a decade or so was incredible. They had some champion players and they did it. For us it is going to be an ongoing effort to achieve these standards we have set for ourselves.”
Smith though could not guarantee he would play in the third Test in Sydney beginning Saturday due to a lingering elbow injury.