Monday 14 January 2013 

Graeme Smith Pleased With 'Professional' Proteas

Graeme Smith Pleased With 'Professional' Proteas
Graeme Smith Pleased With 'Professional' Proteas
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith has paid tribute to the way in which his side comprehensively outplayed New Zealand on their way to a 2-0 series victory.

Smith prevailed over innnigs victories in both matches in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, with New Zealand failing to score more than 275 and in Cape Town being bowled out for just 45.

There was much for Smith to be pleased about as he looked back on a ruthless job performed by his close-knit side.

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"If you play Two tests and win both by an innings I think it's fair to say you've out played them comprehesively in the series," he outlined. "We've been really professional. Bar one or two catches in Cape Town, we have played really high standard of Test cricket.

"Every headline you look at talks about complacency and [asks] 'are we going to be able to perform', but I think we showed that. 

It's a really good professional outfit, the guys are hungry to do well," he added. "After coming off two big series away from home it would be very easy for us to idle along in these two Test matches. We haven't done that, the bowlers have bowled with good pace, aggression and intensity and the batters have got runs, which is always nice.

"When things are going well, and bowlers are bowling quick, it's great. I think in both first innings we bowled really well and were able to create a lot. In the evening on day two here we really got things together and once you create that intensity and the snowball effect sort of rubs off and that's where things really opened up for us."

While Dale Steyn was lauded for his performance in Port Elizabeth and Vernon Philander for his spell in Cape Town, Smith is quick to underline that one of the main things about this South African outfit is the team mentality.

"Everything is a stepping stone to the next thing, we had to build and go through phases to get to where we are today," Smith said.

"It's great to have the quality of personnel we have as firstly, you can't be a good team unless you have the players. I think we've come together really well as a team, I think one of our strengths is our unity, the way we play for each other is a crucial aspect in our success. 

"I don't want to be comparing teams to other teams, in their own rights teams have been successful in our history since re-admission. This team has a wonderful oppotunity to create something special and be a part of something special and that's important to us, having that chance to create something and put that proteas brand in a really strong place going forward."

Going forward means taking on Pakistan in their next Test series and you don't have to be a seasoned veteran or an avid student of the game to realise that they ought to pose a much stronger challenge to South Africa than New Zealand did, and Smith is aware of what they might bring.

"For us it's a little bit of an unknown factor. They have a few new players in their squad, certainly their bowling unit seems to have some exciting young bowlers. 

"They obviously have a good spin attack as well, from an all-round perspective their bowling certainly seems to be a strength of theirs. They've got some experienced batters and guys that have been here a few times before.

"I guess with Pakistan people talk about the unpredictable nature of their cricket. They seem to be playing a lot more consistently over the last period of time against England and in the ODIs against India, so they will bring a lot of confidence."

© Cricket World 2013

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