After a miserable run of one win in eight Tests, South Africa captain Graeme Smith is looking forward to the end of the season.
Smith, whose own batting form has also suffered, leads South Africa in the third and final Test against New Zealand, starting on Friday.
â€œI think weâ€™re all looking forward to packing the gloves and pads away, an opportunity to reflect and look back on the season. Itâ€™s been a tough one, in which weâ€™ve learnt a lot, especially myself,â€ Smith told a news conference on Thursday.
Smith has scored only 319 runs at an average of 21.26 during the southern hemisphere seasonâ€™s Tests which included five defeats and a draw against Australia.
â€œIâ€™ve been very frustrated with my batting at Test level. Iâ€™ve scored a lot of 30s and 40s and I keep doing the hard work and then doing stupid things to get out,â€ he said.
Smith did not expect the pitch at the Wanderers in Johannesburg to make life any easier for batting. â€œItâ€™s obviously going to do a bit, thereâ€™s a good grass covering there,â€ he said.
â€œAs a batsman, youâ€™ll need to be really focused. It becomes very mental on wickets like these. You have to cut out certain shots and itâ€™s important not to be tentative, you tend to not move your feet and get stuck in the crease. You have to forget about whatâ€™s gone past the bat,â€ Smith added.
South Africa won the low-scoring first Test at Centurion by 128 runs and the second Test in Cape Town was drawn after New Zealand plundered 593 for eight and South Africa 512 in the first innings.
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming told reporters that a lively pitch in Johannesburg would suit his teamâ€™s cause. â€œA pitch that doesnâ€™t offer a lot would have made it really hard for us to make up the 1-0 deficit. But weâ€™ve got better through the series. I thought the bowlersâ€™ performance was really good in Cape Town, even though the figures might not show it,â€ he said.
â€œIf they can perform in the same way up here, with that pack mentality, then hopefully they will get the figures this time,â€ he added.
Fleming added that South Africa would be under pressure in Johannesburg. â€œI see thereâ€™s been a lot of talk about South Africaâ€™s season basically being analysed in terms of this series. So if they donâ€™t win the series theyâ€™ll be taking a ton of hitsâ€.
Unlike Smith, Flemingâ€™s batting form has been superb, the left-hander scoring a ground-record 262 in Cape Town last week. â€œIâ€™m not a massive goal-setter but Iâ€™m very happy with where my batting has gone recently, but you know that cricket can come back and bite you at any time,â€ Fleming said.
Source:The NewsMore on:Graeme Smith, New Zealand, South Africa
Thank you for reading this post. You can now Leave A Comment (0) or Leave A Trackback.
Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2006 and is filed under General.
Previous Post: Giles targets Pakistan return »
Next Post: Genius is in a team empowered, not just individual glory »
Read MoreRelated Reading:
- Imran Farhat ready to play ICL, Abdul Razzak may be next in line
- More delays to Tait’s comeback
- Troublesome Shoaib
- Zaheer and Karthik lead the way
- Murali considers legal action after Bedi jibe
- Late Arrival of Lawson
- England wrest a draw but concede the series to India
- Wave of Disciplinary Actions
- Twenty20 World Cup South Arfica
- Shoaib may face more punishment