‘Four Test matches in India are not going to be easy’: Graeme Smith

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith said Protea’s tour of India will not be an easy one as the series involves lots of travellings, hostile Indian fan and spin friendly pitches will create a problem.

South Africa announced three different 15 man squad for the series on Thursday. The series will start with T20 at Dharamsala Stadium on October 2.

Smith said he is ‘nervous’ as the four-match Test series in India will be tough.

“I’m a bit nervous. It’s a tough tour for us and this is a big season for South African cricket with the Indian tour and the English tour later this year. This could be the defining period for this team,” Smith was quoted as saying by The Times here.

“Four Test matches in India are not going to be easy, especially because it involves a lot of travellings, a lot of people and the conditions are going to spin. “I’m holding thumbs that everything will go well.

But, Smith said if the they do well in India then they will do well against England as well.

“If we have a good Indian tour, I think we’ll then do very well against the English,” said Smith, who led South Africa to two series draws against India in 2008 and 2009,” he added.

South Africa did not lose any away Test series since 2006. Smith said, “Our record of not losing a Test series away from home since 2006 has been incredible.  Smith also said they had no option but to seek retention of the maze presented by the ICC.

However, Smith believes the current bunch of South African cricketers, has the caliber to continue their swan song on the foreign tour.

“Hopefully these guys will keep going and keep doing us proud,” Smith said. He also offered some advice to the members of the squad in the three formats of the game.

Smith directed comment particularly to Quinton de Kock, who was sent to India to play a three national first-class cricket involving India A, Australia A and South Africa A. de Kock impressed the selectors with three consecutive innings against the India A side. As a result selectors included him both in the One Day international and T20 squads.

“It’s all about building character. If you’re going to have a long career playing at the top of the game, you’re going to be able to deal with failure and how to bounce back from disappointment,” Smith said.

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