Everyone has to avoid getting caught up in the ‘hype’ surrounding Johnson, says Graeme Smith

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“I can watch videotapes of me scoring hundreds against Mitchell Johnson”

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has announced that everyone has to avoid getting caught up in the “hype” surrounding Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Smith’s comments come after Johnson demolished South Africa by taking 12 wickets during the first Test in Centurion.

“It’s important not to get caught up in the hype,” Smith said. “Obviously Mitchell bowled extremely well and bowled aggressively. We all know that creates headlines, stories and fanfare.

“There’s huge respect in our team for someone who is performing well but it’s important for us to focus on getting our skills right.”

Despite being dismissed by Johnson in both innings of the first Test, Smith added: “I’ve faced Mitchell a lot of times – times where he’s had the better of me and times where I have had the better of him.

“The wicket at Centurion with the new ball and the cracks played a really important role.

“We’ve had a general group discussion on areas that we want to improve. We haven’t watched any more video or anything different than we did before the first Test.

“I can watch videotapes of me scoring hundreds against Mitchell Johnson. Every player here has had success against this attack, not so long ago.”

Smith also revealed that South Africa have been preparing extra hard for the second Test in Port Elizabeth as they look to bounce back and level the series 1-1.

“I believe our mindsets and our game plans are good,” Smith said. “Ultimately it’s about walking the walk now and going out over the next five days and being able to produce the performances to show that.

“It’s a fairly quick turnaround which I believe is a good thing. We’ve got straight back into our work and had some good discussions. I think we lacked a bit of real competitive cricket coming into this series and we were outplayed.

“We’ve now got to get ourselves back into the series over the next five days and I’m hoping we’ll be better for it.”

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