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Cricket | SA Team

Vernon will come good - Smith



Graeme Smith looked and sounded a confident man when talking about his highly rated but underperforming bowling attack ahead of the second test starting at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

The Proteas captain admitted they fell short of expectations but remains completely confident in their ability – particularly that of Vernon Philander who suffered the chastening experience of a wicketless test match at the Gabba in Brisbane last week.

“Quite a few bowlers lacked a bit in Brisbane and quite a few guys are looking to improve in this game – the wicket played a lot better than expected in the first test,” Smith said.

“Vern doesn’t need green wickets to be effective - we didn’t have any green tracks in England and he did pretty well – I think that he’ll be fine. He had some really zip in the nets, and the ball is swinging. I expect good things from him.

“He has had such an incredible start to his career but there are bound to be tough games along the way and I certainly think he has the character to bounce back from that. He didn’t bowl really badly in Brisbane and still created a number of chances that could easily have gone to hand, so I still expect him to play a really positive role in this game,” Smith said.

Everybody was surprised by the placid nature of the playing surface in Brisbane and interest has consequently risen in the pitch for the second test – the last time the Oval square will be used for a test match before it is dug up for the benefit of the Adelaide Crows AFL team. Drop-in pitches will be used from next year onwards.

“It does look like a very good wicket although by nature it gets drier as the game goes on. It has good grass covering and the whole square is the greenest I have seen it in a long time. It should be a very good wicket for the first couple of days and then dry out as the test goes on – hopefully bringing the spinners into the game,” Smith said.

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