Proteas

Biff assures better preparation

Graeme Smith (AFP)
Graeme Smith (AFP)
Cape Town - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith has assured fans that they won't enter the Australia series undercooked.

The Proteas started slowly in their last two series, losing the first Test against Pakistan in the UAE and it was only a remarkable fourth-innings fightback that saved the first Test against India at the Wanderers.

They tackle the Aussies, fresh off a 5-0 series whitewash against England, in three Tests starting at Centurion on February 12.

But Smith said this time round they will be better prepared.

"The guys won't just prepare individually, but we'll be together as a team for longer. We won't get together just three days before the tour, but eight, nine or 10 days," Smith told Die Burger's website.

"The guys are also currently playing a lot of cricket in the local T20 series and I believe we'll be ready. We'll make sure that we're ready for this series."

Smith blamed their slow starts in recent series on a lack of regular Test cricket.

"It's always tough to get together three days before a Test and then to immediately hit the ground running.  After the second Test (against India in Durban) I felt we were on top of our game and would have done really well if there was a third Test."

South Africa are currently the No 1-ranked team on the ICC rankings, but last beat Australia in a home Test series in the 1969/70 season.
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