Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | SA Team

Smith salutes best SA team he's played in



Graeme Smith has been representing South Africa since 2002 and the test captain believes the current crop of players are the finest of his generation.

Smith's side have a commanding lead at the top of the world rankings after completing a 3-0 test whitewash of Pakistan on Sunday.

"This is the best team I have played in as a South African cricketer, we have all our bases covered," the skipper told reporters.

"Part of that is the maturity and professionalism with which they approach every match and the pride they put into their performances."

South Africa have won in England, Australia and New Zealand in recent times and beaten Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand but Smith's hunger has not yet been satisfied.

"There is still more I want to achieve with this side," said the opening batsman who averages 48.62 in 110 test appearances. "We want to create a team that plays the game hard but in the right spirit.

"What has been most pleasing about this summer is how clinical we have been, we have never let our intensity drop. That is how we set out to play our cricket."

Of the regular test line-up, only Jacques Kallis (37), Smith (32) and Alviro Petersen (32) are in their 30s.

Coach Gary Kirsten has urged allrounder Kallis to give up the shorter formats of the game in order to prolong his test career and that looks likely to happen.

The strength of the first-class domestic competition has helped fuel success for the test side.

When injuries have robbed South Africa of Kallis, Morne Morke, JP Duminy and Vernon Philander, their replacements have excelled.

The latest is Kyle Abbott who returned match figures of 9-68 on his debut in the victory by an innings and 18 runs over Pakistan in the third test.

"I think the domestic circuit at the moment is the strongest it has been," said the 25-year-old paceman. "It is credit to the South African system.

"The high performance centre is fantastic and the South African A side has been running really well for the last two or three years. By the time guys reach test level they are ready."

The next challenge for the test team is a two-match series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in November.

"Preparation for Abu Dhabi will be key," Smith said. "You cannot keep guys at the top of their game for eight months when they are not playing test cricket so it will be about how we approach the build-up to the series."



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Haze's Comment
Thoughts on the World Cup
As you can imagine, many broadcasters from around the cricketing globe descended on Auckland for...

Faf du Plessis
Making sense of the semifinal
Apologies for the lack of communication, but I’ve been trying to make sense of all that happened in...

Kepler Wessels
Much respect to the Aussies
Whether one likes the Aussies or not they have to be respected for the fact that they know how to...

Neil at the World Cup
Week 6
Some players were desperate to get home, others were happy to stay a while.