Smith Ignoring Dossier, Focusing Instead On Legacy
Although there has been plenty of talk about a leaked dossier that appears to detail Australia's plans to derail South Africa's challenge, captain Graeme Smith is concentrating on on-field matters ahead of the first Test in Brisbane.
The game gets underway tonight (9th November) and with the number one Test ranking at stake, Smith wants to ensure his team stay at the top for as long as they possibly can.
"We would love the opportunity to create a legacy," Smith said at his pre-match press conference, although to do so his side must overcome bet365 odds of 11/10 to win the series.
"You have to take steps at a time, in International cricket today there have been a number of teams that have touched the No.1 ranking and certainly we would love to have that opportunity and we know that this is the next stepping stone for us and it is a big challenge.
"We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we believe we have the capabilities to create that but you have to earn it and take those steps towards the process. The next three to four weeks is that big challenge for us," he added.
Despite South Africa not having lost a series away from home since 2006, Smith sees the recent series win in England as an important stepping stone with players performing under pressure.
"When you play in other people’s backyards and with the crowds, there is a different sort of pressure and you need to be able to handle certain things that come your way.
"In recent memory in England we were able to show that we were able to perform under pressure and we were able to stand up in key times. I guess when good teams play each other there are those small margins and you need to be able to handle those margins better than the other team if you are going to be victorious."
Smith rejects the idea that the dossier - which revealed little information not already apparent to fans of either side - has had any effect on the squad.
"It’s nothing new, I haven’t really read it myself and from the things I’ve heard it contains nothing that we didn’t expect,” Smith said.
"All of us have played enough cricket against Australia, we know what it is going to take to be victorious here and we have prepared that way. I think our preparation has been clinical, good and intelligent, we are all looking forward to starting tomorrow."
For the record, the dossier's section on Smith offered this analysis: "When Smith is not in form, his feet don't move that much and he can be very susceptible to lbw."
Smith has scored 938 runs in 15 Tests against Australia at an average of 36.07 and has been dismissed leg before wicket seven times in 29 innings.
© Cricket World 2012
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