Smith looking forward to exciting and tense World Cup

Chennai: Desperate to win the elusive World Cup for his country, South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Thursday said his side was well-balanced and had the most variety in bowling, especially spin, and looked forward to play a tense and most exciting tournament in the sub-continent.

"We have come here with a lot of energy. We have done a lot of really good preparations. There are lot of fresh faces. At the end of the day it is a tense and exiting tournament...lot of cricket to be played," Smith told a media conference after a practice session ahead of South Africa`s warm-up match against Zimbabwe, to be played here on February 12.

Stating his team had the most variety in bowling to take on the challenge in the sub-continent conditions, Smith expressed confidence in his spinners.

"We have got two left-armers. We have three frontline spinners and some part-timers also. From bowling point of view in these conditions we have most variety. From selection point of view for each game, slightly different options are available to us. We have also got quite a few options and depending on the conditions we can select the team," he said.

On playing on the India sub-continent, the Proteas captain said it was a dream come true for most of his teammates to play the World Cup in a region where there was so much passion for cricket.

"I think the people in this region are already excited about hosting the World Cup. And for a lot of us, it is a dream come true to play in the World Cup here."

Smith said sustaining good performance was the key to winning the World Cup as the tournament was spread over a long period of over 50 days.

"You need to sustain good performances over a lengthy period of time. World Cup is a 50-odd day tournament. It is a long time to maintain high level of standards...balance is always the key. You have to be ready for your games when they come especially in the round-robin league. You have to perform better than your opponent, which is the key," he said.

On the fitness of all-rounder Jacques Kallis, recovering from an injury, the Smith said he did not see the need to expose the veteran too early.

"He is an asset to the team. He is coming along very well and progressing well. He had a full nets today," said Smith.

Asked if Proteas will miss his services if he was not able to bowl, Smith said, "There is no doubt. When you have got a world-class bowler like Jacques it gives a more option."

On his role as a captain, being his last one-day assignment, Smith said the experienced gained over the last so many years would stand him good.

"I am best prepared to lead the guys. I have been an important face of South African cricket. I have gained experience and knows what the team needs and what is required for these tournaments. I just wanted to lead these guys here. I am excited about the opportunity and will lead from the front."


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link