Graeme Smith

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Blog Posts by Graeme Smith

  • We are starting to produce wins

    After that really close match against Deccan Chargers, the team decided to take a small break and headed out to Shamwari Game Farm just outside Port Elizabeth. We just wanted to get together as a team, bond and focus before the hectic week that is coming up: four games in seven days.


    We are back in Durban now and tomorrow we take on Kings XI Punjab, who have been reasonably consistent and have had some good games. We will come up against Irfan and Sangakkara who were the stars of the match we lost to them earlier. They are both world class batsmen and Irfan is a good swing bowler to boot. They can take the game away from us if we let them. Our bowling will have to be strong tomorrow and it is important for all of us to start off well.


    Then there is Yuvraj, another quality player, who has done well here in Durban: 36 off one over during an ICC World Twenty20 match a couple of years ago, and then a 50 and hattrick the other night! Warnie and the team have worked out different

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  • It is important to have a good leader

    Another win under our belt, and a much needed one. More so since we brought the Daredevils' winning streak to a halt. We had not being playing to our potential so far, and since a lot of our matches were in Cape Town, it was tough for the batsmen not used to the conditions. At the moment, all the teams are very close, and it is important for us to keep playing to potential.


    We come up against Chennai Super Kings tomorrow, in a rematch of last year's final. Having beaten them before does help, and they have not been having the best of times. Of course, it is early days, and their position on the points table will make them desperate for a win. If we can keep Chennai's key players quiet it will go a long way in winning the game. The one to watch out for would definitely be Matthew Hayden, who is a world class player. Chennai also have some good all-rounders in their side in Albie Morkel and Jacob Oram. Controlling them and Hayden will be the key.


    Yusuf Pathan batted superbly and

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  • Ganguly batted out of his skin!

    Probably thanks to the pitch, this is turning out to be a really gripping Test match. As I had said in my article yesterday, day two would be extremely interesting, and so it has turned out to be. This match has all the ingredients of a classic Test, and if both teams maintain their current form, could well turn out to be a cliff-hanger. Sourav Ganguly batted out of his skin to give his team the 23-run lead, and now that he is gone, I don't think Ishant Sharma will add anything substantial to the total.

    The pitch is crumbling rapidly, and this is the sort of encounter that you have to watch every minute of. And I think it has been fantastic the way the day saw so many twists and turns. While India's openers got off to a good start, they got out staying back on the crease, particularly Virender Sehwag. And when Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman seemed to be building a big partnership, Morne Morke produced two unplayable snorters; just when South Africa seemed in control, Yuvraj Singh and

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  • Sehwag’s innings was the best I have seen

    India certainly dominated proceedings on day four of this Test. Or let's say, Virender Sehwag did. The trouble is, because of the flatness of the pitch, and the high moisture content in the air, the ball is doing nothing at all: neither through the air, nor off the pitch. So the bowlers are getting nothing in terms of reverse swing or spin. While the track will probably take some spin tomorrow and on Sunday, today belonged to Sehwag.

    In terms of stroke making, Sehwag's innings was the best I have seen. Sometimes, even though you are in the opposition, you can't help admiring an innings, even if it goes against you. Purely in cricketing terms, Sehwag played an incredible innings. He just proved better than all of us today, and you have to give him credit for that.

    I tried all the options that I could -- my bowlers went over and round the wicket, and were aggressive and defensive by turn-but nothing worked. And the new ball was due but I didn't take it because my bowlers were tired and

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  • We aren’t really losing sleep over Kirsten’s presence

    This is what we play for-the tough, gritty battle of Test match cricket is something that any cricketer worth his salt revels in-and we are glad to take up the challenge of beating India in their backyard. The build-up to this tour has not been ideal, with both teams going through their share of controversies, but once the players get away from the people who create the chaos, and the daily reportage of incidents true and false, it becomes easier to focus on the cricket.

    Ideally, players should not have to get involved with what goes on off the field, because that is the realm of administrators. Increasingly, however, it seems difficult to focus solely on cricket, and we can do without off-field distractions on a tour as challenging as this. I think it would be better for everyone across the board to remember that this is all about cricket, and without the game, there are no jobs for anybody, be they administrators or players.

    Thankfully, the cricket starts tomorrow, and once that

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  • We have some plans in place for Sehwag

    From what we see and hear of Ahmedabad, we believe the track will offer a more equal contest between bat and ball than Chennai did. However, of the last four Tests at the Motera stadium, only one has apparently ended in a result. The curator has said that he expects the track to take some turn in the last two days and help the quicker bowlers initially, which is good news for us. The Indian camp will expectedly rely more on spin, especially now that RP Singh and Ishant Sharma both seem to be battling injuries. Of the spinners, Anil Kumble also apparently has a groin strain, which will leave Harbhajan with most of the workload, which I am sure he won't mind given that he has a 10-wicket haul here.

    But it's the batting line-ups that hold more interest, I guess, with Sachin Tendulkar sitting out and Mohammed Kaif taking his place. When I say taking his place, of course, I don't mean literally, because no one can really replace Sachin, but it will be interesting to see how Virender Sehwag

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