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It will be a test of character for Indian batsmen: Smith

Johannesburg, Dec 17, 2013, (PTI)
It will be a test of character for Indian batsmen, says Smith

South African skipper Graeme Smith today sought to play mindgames ahead of the Test series against India, saying the fast and bouncy tracks here will be a real "test of character" for the young Indian batting line-up.

"They are a hugely talented bunch but very different from the Indian line-up we are accustomed to play against," said Smith, referring to the transitional period that this Indian team is going through.

"Touring different parts of the world is a test of character and it is going to be so for them in the next two Test matches," seasoned South African skipper said on the eve of the first Test.

India's tour begun on a disastrous note as they were hammered in the first two One day internationals losing by huge margins of 141 and 136 runs respectively.

The Proteas skipper said that he would like his team to play hard and win the Test with a credible performance just like a No 1 team in the world.

"We will play the game hard. Ultimately we want to win this Test match and that is our goal. It won't be different from the last time we played Test cricket (versus Pakistan). But there is a big respect-factor for the game and the opposition, and as the number one team in the world, I want to see us have some good credibility and lead the game well," he said.

Smith didn't make too many intimidating statements like ODI captain AB de Villiers but he didn't forget to mention that playing the first innings at the Wanderers is a tough proposition.

"The pitch looks like it has a bit of a moisture and we know that the first innings at the Wanderers can be pretty tough," said Smith, non-committal about what to do after winning the toss, just like Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"Here, if you post decent totals, then you give yourself the best chance of winning. It doesn't need to be 500-600 runs because there is always enough for the bowlers to do well.

"So if we can have a partnership at an important stage in the game, it will be crucial to set up a good platform and post a good total, giving us the opportunity to do well in this Test match," Smith added.


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