New challenges for S African cricket squad after Aussie success

February 3rd, 2009 - 10:40 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 3 (IANS) Gaining the top spot in world cricket after the unprecedented success of beating the Australians in both a test and one-day series on their home turf presents new challenges for the South African cricket squad, coach Mickey Arthur said here.Arthur said he was under no illusion that the landscape of South African cricket had changed irreversibly after the success of the past two months in Australia.

“It is going to be very difficult for everyone - the management and the players - to sustain this success,” Arthur told the Afrikaans weekly Rapport here.

“In the past we always chased success, but now that we have achieved it, we will be the team which will be chased. We will have to find ways to deal with this and adapt to it.”

Arthur said the first big test would be when the Australians seek vengeance during a return tour here later this month.

“I have no doubt that the Aussies will want revenge and that they will throw everything that they have into the battle to wipe out the humiliation at home. They are an extremely proud sporting nation and will not take their defeat lightly.”

Arthur said because of this, South Africa would have to steel itself for a huge onslaught in South Africa and be prepared to fend it off.

The coach conceded that he is having “sleepless nights” trying to decide how to fit seven batsmen into the top six order for the first test against the Australians starting at the Wanderers here on 26 February.

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