Images courtesy of: Zimbio
“When you play against Australia enough, you learn to sift through a lot of the…what’s the word…the bull dot dot dot”
South Africa captain Graeme Smith has announced that he is unconcerned about Australia’s verbal taunts ahead of their three-Test series, which gets underway on February 12 in Centurion.
Smith’s comments come after Australia captain Michael Clarke branded his pace attack as the “best in the world” and Pat Cummins stated that South Africa’s batsmen were “scared” of left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson, especially after he ripped through England with his 37 wickets in the recently concluded Ashes series.
Australia pace bowler Peter Siddle also recently mentioned that Smith was the man the baggy greens “want to put pressure on”.
“When you play against Australia enough, you learn to sift through a lot of the…what’s the word…the bull dot dot dot,” Smith said with a wry grin on his face. “We just want to focus on ourselves and get ourselves ready. We don’t feel the need to get involved in other things. We know this series will be decided on the quality of the cricket that will be played.”
Smith also hinted that his pace trio of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel will expose the weakness of Australia’s batting line-up.
“We are really motivated to expose certain things,” he said.
Smith also reckons that Australia’s batsmen will struggle to get accustomed to South Africa’s conditions in such a short period of time.
“I’ve opened the batting in South Africa for long enough to know that it’s going to be testing,” he said. “The moving ball is something we have become accustomed to. Our bowling attack knows how to exploit conditions here.”
The 33-year-old also believes that Australia’s pitches are not similar to South Africa’s since there is a lack of sideways movement in the land down under.
“You can hit through the line with more confidence than you can in South Africa,” he said. “Here’s it is guys who have the ability to play the ugly knock that can change games.”
Smith also indicated that he plans to target Clarke throughout the series.
“A large part of captaincy is not just about making a decision on the field,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Michael.
“It (the pressure) never goes away. I have been in the job for 11 years and every tour I know I have got to front up. When they are big series, it’s heightened.”