Smith: SA on the right path

Graeme Smith (AFP)
Graeme Smith (AFP)

Dubai - South Africa captain Graeme Smith says his No. 1-ranked test side is not good enough yet to be compared with the great Australia and West Indies teams.

Smith scored a double century and led the Proteas to an innings-and-92-run win over Pakistan in the secondTtest with a day to spare to level the two-match series on Saturday.

Pakistan won the first test, also inside four days, to end South Africa's 15-Test unbeaten run since 2011.

"We've still got a lot we need to do before we can even be compared to great teams that dominated for many, many years," Smith said.

The victory protected the Proteas' record of not losing a Test series away from home for seven years since it lost in Sri Lanka 2-0 in 2006.

"That record away from home is an extremely proud one to have," Smith said. "I don't think many teams ... can travel as well as we do and be able to perform in all the conditions, the pressures, the environments that you face on the road.

"From our perspective, we really want to dominate, we want to play good cricket, and set a standard and I think we are long way from doing that, but certainly we are on the right path."

Their 11th win in the last 16 was tainted, however, by ball tampering by Faf du Plessis, who was docked 50 percent of his match fee, a punishment which was described as lenient by former Pakistan Test cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif.

When asked whether his team's victory was spoiled by du Plessis, Smith said "No."

On the positive side, the 34-year-old Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir made an impressive return to Tests for South Africa after a return of 0-260 against Australia at Adelaide 11 months ago.

Tahir took 8-130 in the match, but his 5-32 made a difference in the first innings as Pakistan was bowled out for 99 in just under three hours on the first day.

"I think he showed immense amount of character to bounce back ... and it epitomizes the type of group we have," Smith said. "There's a real K-factor there, I think all of us enjoyed Immy's success in certainly the first innings and today(Saturday)."

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