South African captain Graeme Smith has said that his team will be focussing on playing good cricket rather than thinking about being 1-0 down when they take on Australia in the second Test in Durban which begins tomorrow (March 6th).
“We are not looking at the outcome from a position of being 1-0 down,” he said. “We want to focus on playing better cricket and improving the little things that we did wrong. We didn't start well in the last game and we obviously want to improve that. We definitely want to be more precise to the point than we were in Johannesburg. At the end of the day the focus will be on cricket again.
“We just want to play to our potential as we have done over the last period of time. We never did that in Johannesburg. Sydney was a different situation and it seems a long time ago now,” he said when asked whether the Australians had gained the momentum after successive victories in Sydney and Johannesburg.
“We had an open-hearted chat when we sat together,” he added. “We were pretty honest about things, about where we were and what we wanted to achieve. The group has come a long way in terms of maturity and honesty, in terms of where we know we are capable of playing and of our potential.
“We weren't satisfied with the way we played in Johannesburg and we don't need anybody to tell us that. We know ourselves that we need to raise the bar and we are looking to do that in Durban.”
Australia won the first match by 162 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series but South Africa fought back strongly in the second half of the Johannesburg Test, something which has encouraged Smith going into the Durban game.
“It is going to be vital that we start strongly in Durban and put them under pressure from the very first ball. We did apply pressure on their newcomers but we didn't do it consistently and that is an area that has been addressed.”
The second and third Tests will see the third umpires have access to the hot spot technology during the continued umpire review trials.
© Cricket World 2009