Proteas

Smith expects tough Test series for batsmen in SA

Steve Smith (Gallo Images)
Steve Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Australia captain Steve Smith is expecting that the batsmen will find the going tough in the Test series against South Africa as both teams have menacing pace-bowling attacks.

The Australians will play a four-match Test series against the Proteas, starting in March 1 at Kingsmead.

Smith said on Tuesday that he was keeping an eye on the Proteas' recent three-match series at home against India, which the hosts won 2-1.

South Africa's victory was spearheaded by their dominant seam attack of Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and newcomer Lungi Ngidi while Dale Steyn became injured but is hoping to be fit for the Australia Tests.

The Aussies will have their own pace arsenal to call upon as Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins all done well in their recent triumphant Ashes series at home.

"I've seen little bits and pieces (of the India series)," said Smith, when asked if he has been watching the Proteas.

"Batting's going to be hard work. They've got some good bowlers and we're going to have to show some good fight and good resilience out in the middle against their quicks, and (Keshav) Maharaj as well, who's come a long way as a spinner."

Australia have a proud record in South Africa as they have never lost a series there since the Proteas came back into international cricket in 1991.

The surfaces in the recent India series was a major talking point with the final Test pitch at the Wanderers rated 'poor' by the ICC due to it's dangerous nature.

READ: Wanderers (just) escapes big-match ban

Asked what kind of pitches he was expecting in South Africa, Smith said: "They could go a couple of different ways with their wickets.

"For us, it's just about adapting to whatever they throw at us. I guess the thing with Australia and South Africa is the conditions are probably the two most similar around the world.

"The wickets are generally pretty similar and the pace and bounce. From that aspect it's (easier to adjust)."

The first Test between the Proteas and Australia starts at Kingsmead in Durban on 1 March.

Australia tour to SA:

February 22-24 - Australia v SA Invitation XI, Willowmoore

March 1-5 - 1st Test, Kingsmead

March 9-13 - 2nd Test, St. George's Park

March 22-26 - 3rd Test, Newlands

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