Just watch us at Newlands, says Smith

2011-12-30 00:00

AN emotional Graeme Smith said yesterday the Protea camp was hurting after a historic Sri Lankan win in the second Test at Kingsmead yesterday.

The Proteas captain said: “We are naturally upset with the result. But at the end of the day the Sri Lankan team adjusted better to the conditions in Durban and all credit to them for doing that.

“But the hard work starts now. We have been in situations like this before and have come out on top, so watch us at Newlands.”

When asked about the “curse of Kingsmead”, where South Africa have lost their last three Tests, he said that there were no explanations or reasons why the Proteas struggled at the ground.

“There are a lot of people who are asking for reasons as to why we perform badly at Kingsmead. And if I had the answer then we wouldn’t be in the position we are in,” said Smith.

He added that one department that couldn’t be blamed for the loss was the bowling, which he said had performed very well.

Looking forward to the Newlands game, Smith said it would be a fresh start and that the team were ready to rid themselves of their disappointment. He would not comment directly on any likely changes, but he said that if Vernon Philander was fit for the Test, as Gary Kirsten said he would be, it would be a tough call to decide who would miss out.

“Morne Morkel has always been a pillar of strength for us, and Marchant de Lange impressed in his debut game. It’s a nice problem to have, but in situations such as these the selection panel tend to back the players who have been traditional servants to the team.”

Smith said rumours that he might step down as Test captain, which were started on Twitter during the final session yesterday, were unfounded and irresponsible and that he would stay as long as Kirsten and the team wanted him.

The Proteas squad remains the same for the Newlands Test, which starts on January 3.

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