Graeme Smith Confident Ahead Of England Test Series
South Africa captain Graeme Smith expressed confidence on Thursday in the ability of his fast bowlers to win a test series in England for the first time since the Proteas were re-admitted to test cricket in 1991.
South Africa have not won a test series in England since 1965, their last tour before 21 years of international isolation starting in 1970 because of the country's racial separation policies.
Their pace attack for this year's four-match series comprises Dale Steyn, the fastest South Africa to reach 100 test wickets, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Monde Zondeki backed up all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
"We've brought a good seam attack over," Smith told reporters before his team's opening match against Somerset on Sunday.
"They are young but have huge prospects in terms of what they can achieve.
"Makhaya is the leader of the attack in terms of his experience, then you have Dale (Steyn) who has had a terrific season so far and Morne is on the up and has huge prospects with his speed, pace and bounce then there's Nel and Zondeki who have done really well.
"We come here with a good attack with good depth and hopefully over the four tests everything goes according to plan and we can really see what they are about."
Coach Mickey Arthur said the Proteas were determined to make their mark after drawing 1-1 in 1994, losing 2-1 in 1998 and drawing 2-2 in 2003.
"The challenge of facing England is huge," Arthur said.
"Since unity every time South Africa have come here we've never won. This team wants to leave its footprint and be the first team since unity to win.
"There were three major series for us that Graeme (Smith) and I have worked towards as a leadership team and they were India in India, England in England and Australia in Australia. We have them all in the space of nine months, which is a huge challenge.
"It's very exciting coming to England as the cricket culture here is huge, we are really looking forward to doing well here."
Smith also said his most senior player Kallis had spoken to former England coach Duncan Fletcher for background knowledge on their opponents, as they worked together at Western Province.
South Africa have also acquired former England one-day player Jeremy Snape as their performance coach for the series and for the tour to Australia later in the year.
Arthur asked Smith to assess Snape's abilities when the worked together with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in April.
© Reuters 2008