We have a lot more variety in attack than 2007: Smith

Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 20:52 PM IST

New Delhi: With two world class pacers and three spinners in their ranks, South Africa are spoilt for choice as far as bowling is concerned and skipper Graeme Smith seemed all ready to unleash the fury ahead of their opening World Cup fixture against West Indies here on Thursday.

"I think it`s probably our best spin attack that we have ever coming into the sub-continent. We have got a lot of options, we have got three frontline spinners and some batters who bowl spin," Smith said on the eve South Africa`s opening match.

In Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, the Proteas have a potent new ball pair, and in spin department, they have Johan Botha, Imran Tahir and Robin Peterson -- all bowlers of different varieties.

"I think we have a lot more variety than we did in 2007, when I felt we had a lot of similar type of bowlers in the Caribbean. But we now have pace, bounce, left-armers. We have also got a few spin options. I think it will be more difficult to prepare against us, the variety is there," he added.

Talking about the quickies in his squad, Smith said there is always a place for genuine pace, irrespective of conditions.

"There is always a place for genuine pace. I don`t think anybody likes to face people who bowls at 155 kmph. If someone tells you they enjoy it, they are lying to you! I think having genuine pace in your team is always an asset in any World Cup. But you have got to get it right even at that pace," he said.

"We just hopefully judge the conditions well and pick the right teams to play against our opposition."

Smith refused to reveal anything about Imran Tahir, the only uncapped player in the 15-man squad.

"That`s for us to know, you need to wait till tomorrow."

Asked if the team would finally shed the chokers tag, Smith said that would depend on performance and a bit of luck.

"I think we are running out of answers for it. It`s up to us to perform well, simple as that. As an international sportsman, pressure is a part of daily life. Let`s hope we can play well. We obviously need a little bit of luck to go through a tournament. We have made a few semifinals, it will be nice if we could go a couple of steps further.”

"There`s no doubt in my mind that we have got the players, who if the moment arises, I really believe in the guys we have got that they will take it."

While most of the Associate teams have been thrashed black and blue by the established ones, the Netherlands proved to be an exception, stretching England to the limit before going down.

"On any given day, people can perform well. It takes one good performance, like from Ten Doeschate, to put you in the game," Smith said.

The Oranje`s spirited show, perhaps, has made Smith doubly aware of the unpredictable West Indians.

"I think consistency-wise they haven`t been as good as the other teams, but they have match-winners and that`s why playing them in a one-off game makes them very dangerous. They have guys who, on their day, can really punish you."

Asked about his own squad for the opening game, Smith said, "I think, tactically, we have got our ideas about how we would like to set up in this tournament but as you know, we don`t really know what to expect. You just got to pick the said that you feel is the best balanced that can benefit us tomorrow."

On the tournament, Smith said this one is bigger than any other World Cup.

"I think it is the biggest tournament. A lot of the guys who are here for the first time have definitely said that. The expectation, the energy around India and before we left, the things that were going on around the group, especially compared to the other World Cups, this is a lot bigger.”

"There are a lot more things going on, I think the guys have definitely noticed that, those who are here for the first time. For us, it is the tournament that we would really love to be successful in. I think every team here would love to hold the trophy at the end of the tournament and that`s our goal, I guess.”

"We have covered every base and we are really excited to get going tomorrow. To be honest with you, I am in a very good place at the moment. I feel I am best prepared going into this tournament as I have been throughout my career. I feel I am in the best place to lead the guys through this tournament. I just want to leave it all out here. It`s my opportunity to lead the team and leave it all out here."

Asked about the much debated Umpire Review System, Smith said it`s all about the "trust factor".

"With our bowlers, every decision is out! It`s going to be a gut-feel thing for me. I`ll have to trust AB also because I am not always going to be in a position to judge the lines and where the ball has pitched.”

"You do have to have the trust factor in the people that are probably in the better positions but probably it will come down to gut-feel thing. We are going to have a chat about it tonight and discuss how we want to handle it but I think we have got to trust the guys that they know what is right."

PTI