India will be hard to beat at home, says Smith

India will be hard to beat at home, says Smith

India will be hard to beat at home, says Smith

 SA skipper Graeme Smith (left) and Jacques Kallis during a training session. PTI/AFP

“Beating India in India is always a difficult task. In my nine years of international cricket, I have always found India to be a very formidable opponent. So they will definitely start as favourites here,” said Smith in his first interaction with the media after arriving here.

“But we have also done well in the past in the sub-continent. We will try to play better cricket and beat them.

“We have been doing well in the last two years and we hope to bring that confidence into this series. India are currently the number one Test team but we hope to take away that status from them in this series,” said the left-hander.
Smith said his team-mates had a fair idea about the conditions awaiting them in the Test series starting on Sunday.

“The conditions here will also not be easy. There will be low bounce, pitch will turn more and would assist reverse swing. But we also have quality batsmen in our team and it would be a good challenge,” he said.

Even though spin remains India’s traditional strength, Smith said his team would not lag far behind in the slow bowling department.

“We also have a good spin attack in Johan Botha and Paul Harris. The players have been together for quite sometime now and the results are reflecting in their positive mindset. It is a great opportunity for us, knowing that not many teams have tasted series victories in India,” the Protea skipper added.

The South Africans will play a Board President XI in a two-day warm-up match starting on Tuesday, and Smith said the game was an opportunity for his side to acclimatise to tricky Indian conditions ahead of the Test series.

“We are excited to play the series and we have five days to go. The two-day match will be important as it would be an opportunity to acclimatise ourselves, make our brain work in the right way,” Smith said.

The second Test will be played in Kolkata from February 14-18 before the teams fight it out in the three-match one-day series starting on February 21 in Jaipur
No UDRS for SA Tests
The controversial Umpire Decision Review System would not be in use for the Test rubber. “No, it would not be used,” a BCCI source said about the absence of the DRS that has come under the scanner often whenever it had been used.
This is the fifth successive home Test rubber that the DRS, by which a batting side or fielding side can challenge the on-field umpires’ decision, is not being implemented in India.

The DRS was not in use for the three-match rubber held late last year in India against Sri Lanka, which was criticised by visiting team captain Kumar Sangakkara, and it was also absent during the two-Test rubber in Bangladesh.
The only occasion the system was used in a series involving India was in Sri Lanka in July-August, 2008.

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