South African captain Graeme Smith is ready to return to international action and lead his side in the first One Day International against Australia in Durban on Friday (3rd April) after recovering from a hand injury.
Chronic elbow, hand and finger injuries have kept Smith out of the ODI side for an extended period.
“For a little period I have been out of the game but I have felt in control of my game for some time now,” Smith said.
“Every chance you get to represent your country is a special one, so it is nice to be back playing for South Africa. It is something I am looking forward to and hopefully we can put in a special performance on Friday and in the rest of the games. The guys are well prepared and excited.”
Both his broken finger in Australia and broken finger at home came after he was struck by Australian left-armer Mitchell Johnson but Smith revealed that he would not be changing his approach.
“As an opening batsman those are things that you learn to deal with throughout your career. I have travelled pretty much all around the world and faced all the world’s fastest quicks. Mentally it is just a case of preparing the right way. I have to think about how I am going to face these fast bowlers and how I am going to play them. That is the way I have always prepared in the past.
“Mitchell has been bowling really well. He is one of the best fast bowlers in the world at the moment and it will be a real challenge facing him. It is something I look forward to. We have had a really good battle over the last period of time, I have had a bit of success and he has had a bit of success, so we will see what happens.”
Smith will lead the side which will be missing Jacques Kallis, who has a groin injury, but is expected to be fit for the second game on Sunday (5th April) at SuperSport Park.
Roelof van der Merwe is named as 12th man.
South Africa: Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini
© Cricket World 2009