South Africa prepared for Indian backlash – Smith

DURBAN, (Reuters) – South Africa are prepared for  India’s experienced line-up to fight back strongly in the Boxing  Day test after their crushing defeat at Centurion, captain  Graeme Smith said yesterday.

Graeme Smith

South Africa cruised to victory by an innings and 25 runs in  the first test of the three-match series after India crumbled to  136 all out on day one in the face of testing Proteas pace  bowling.

“After what happened in the first test I expect them to be  better, especially from a batting perspective, as they will know  what to expect,” Smith told a news conference before the match  starting on Sunday.

“India are an experienced team and I expect them to come out  fighting in the next test and I expect them to use their  experience to bounce back. We can’t afford to take anything for  granted in terms of how we expect them to go,” he added.

While Smith expects the number-one ranked test team in the  world to present a stiffer challenge at Kingsmead, he said his  own charges would draw a lot of heart from how they had  performed in the first test. “When you win by an innings and 25 runs you do take a lot of  positives out of the game and a lot of confidence.

From our  perspective we have taken a few big steps forward in the series  and India have probably got a few doubts,” he said. South Africa do not have an impressive recent record in  Durban having lost their last two matches at Kingsmead by  significant margins.

In last year’s Boxing Day test they were trounced by England  by an innings and Australia won by a convincing margin of 175  runs.

Smith said that while he was aware of South Africa’s woes at  Kingsmead he was confident that his team had put those  performances behind them.

“Our last two matches here have not been our best  performances and all round we haven’t played that well here but  it’s up to us to put that right,” he said.

“We have had a good chat about how we want to play in Durban  and the things we can use to our advantage. We have a lot of  guys in the team who know the wicket and understand how it  plays,” Smith added.

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