Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We'll Be Fresh as Can Be, Insists Smith

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We'll Be Fresh as Can Be, Insists Smith

Article excerpt

Byline: David Clough

SOUTH Africa captain Graeme Smith has discounted the suggestion his team may be 'under-cooked' against England today, after a nine-month gap since their last Test match.

Smith's team have not played five-day cricket since their March victory against Australia at Cape Town - and thanks to that inactivity, have lost their number one ranking to India.

South Africa's chosen method of preparation to face mid-ranking England, who recently beat them in a one-day international series here, was a training camp in Potchefstroom. Smith is confident the upshot, going into a first match of four at Centurion today, is that his team are as ready as they can be.

"I know it's been a lengthy period since our last Test match, but our squad is a very mature one," said Smith (pictured right). "It's had a lot of success, and each guy knows what he needs to do to be successful.

We've prepared really well - and it's been a good, calm focus with intensity around our training sessions. …

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