Focused on playing good cricket : Smith

There have been a lot of talks about how the South African pacers have scared the new set of Indian batsmen. But the hosts’ skipper Graeme Smith on Tuesday played it down, and said his team instead wanted to play good cricket.

“I don’t think there will be a lot of difference to the time we last played our Test cricket. We will play the game hard and as I said there is a big respect-factor for the game and the opposition. As the number one team in the world, I would like to see us have some good credibility and lead the game well. Ultimately we want to win this Test match and that is our goal. Hopefully, we will do that through good cricket,” said Smith.

However, Smith noted that the two-match Test series would be a test of character for the young Indian side.

“I look at them hopefully not getting any runs. That’s my goal and our bowlers’ goal and you know they are hugely talented and very different from the line-up to the ones that I have become accustomed to play against. You know I think touring other parts of the world is a test of character and I think it is certainly going to be for them in the next two Test matches,” he said.

On his own preparation and form, Smith said: “I think, for me I had a big surgery seven-and-a-half moths ago, and I played a handful of cricket to get ready.

“My goal is to get back and play some cricket and that is what I am trying to do. You know I think if I can get in and perform well, you know in my last Test match I got a double hundred. I am really looking forward to getting out there and playing some cricket and that is what I am trying hard for. I am looking forward to it.”

On the mood prevailing in his team, Smith said, “I think obviously we have confidence in your ability, and lots of composure. I think the confidence in knowing that we can win and we can win from various situations and the faith in each other’s ability and I think that is the key.

This team has won games, won series. You see the Ashes now and it puts into perspective the kind of performances that we have been able to put in over a lengthy period of time.”

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