Tahir will be secret weapon at World Cup: Graeme Smith

Johannesburg: The latest addition to the South African squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup, Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir will be the country`s `secret weapon` at the mega-event, starting from February 19 in the sub-continent, said Proteas skipper Graeme Smith.

Smith explained that it was a conscious decision not to expose Tahir, who only received South African citizenship midway through the just-concluded tour of India, in the one-day series matches against the visitors.

"(Tahir) is someone we want to keep fresh and not allow people the opportunity to see so much of. It was also a tactical decision, with our batting being slightly light in this series (against India)," Smith told a daily.

Tahir, who came up with some superb performances in local games, is also familiar with the sub-continental pitches.

"The conditions in India will be a lot more batting friendly, and we will need to adapt our mindset from a batting and bowling perspective," Smith said.

"The great thing about our squad is that it`s hard to predict what the line-up is going to be. It`s the first time we`re going to a World Cup with a lot of different options.”

"We need to assess the conditions going into our first game and pick the team accordingly. I don`t think we are going there with a set XI in mind. We are going to pick the best combinations for each game; players we believe can win that game," added Smith.