‘We know Proteas are the number one team in the world,’ says Clarke

2014-02-20 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — South Africa’s cricket team are still the best in the world and that should not be forgotten after one defeat.

Australian captain Michael Clarke, whose side annihilated the Proteas last week during the first Test at Centurion, used psychology on the eve of the second Test at St George’s Park today.

When asked whether the loss in the first Test would jeopardise South Africa’s top ranking in world cricket, Clarke was quite diplomatic.

“I don’t think one defeat is a sign that there is a movement of a sort or that SA’s cricket finds itself in trouble.

“South Africa are a very good team, which is led by a very good captain. The team is full of experience and we are convinced that they will hit back hard at us in this Test,” said the Australian captain, adding his team knows who the best team in the world are.

“You do not have to depend on stats to tell you which are the best team in the world. As a player you know that when you play against the best team.

“When we play against SA, we know they are the number one team in the world.”

Clarke said his team will have to be at their best over the next five days if they want to beat South Africa on their home turf.

SA captain Graeme Smith said it was difficult to explain why his team is currently slow to get out of the starting blocks. “I don’t know. Perhaps we do not like to give the first punch. We have, however, proved that we have the abilities to fight back,” said the South African captain.

The Proteas will as soon as possible have to forget their dismal performance at Centurion where they not only lost but also looked as if they have no answer to Mitchell Johnson’s lightening deliveries.

Smith was one of the batsmen who appeared weak when he lost his wicket against a nasty bouncer in the first innings. “No, I have played against Mitchell in many matches and at times he was successful and at times not. I don’t mind what it looks like. I have been learning to win over the years, even if it does not look pretty at times.”

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