Our best ever spin attack in a World Cup: Graeme Smith

By Bharat Sharma, IANS
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW DELHI - South African captain Graeme Smith is keen on making the most of the team’s best-ever spin attack in a World Cup and overall, feels the bowling is better than what he had in the 2007 edition. He also exuded confidence on winning the Cup

Smith though takes comfort from having three frontline spinners and says the final composition of the side will depend on the conditions on the match day.

“This is our best spin attack we ever had in the sub-continent. We have three frontline spinners in Tahir (Imran), Johan (Botha) and Robin (Peterson),” said Smith on the eve of of their match against the West Indies Thursday.

“Importantly, there is lot more variety to the attack compared to what we had in 2007. Our attack will differ from match to match and we will pick our team taking the conditions into account.”

The role of spinners on sub-continental pitches has been the talking point in this World Cup, but Smith is not discounting the effect of his fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

“There is a place for genuine pace bowlers irrespective of how the wicket is and they are an assest to any team.

“You are bound to create difficulties for the batsmen when you bowl at 150 kmph.”

Smith termed the West Indies an unpredictable and dangerous team.

“Consistency has always been an issue with them when it comes to playing in a series of four to five matches. But you can’t take away the fact they have real match-winners in their squad. They are a dangerous side, especially in a one-off game, like in a World Cup,” he said.

The chokers tag is associated with the South Africans and seldom does a Smith press conference end without a mention of their dubious distinction.

“We expect the question at every conference. To be honest, I have run out of answers for this question. There is no doubt in my mind that we can win the World Cup with this team,” Smith retorted.

On the World Cup in India, he said: “It is the biggest tournament. The World Cup in India could not be compared to any other country. There is so much of energy here and we are really enjoying that. Just as we would love to hold the trophy aloft, other teams will also be keen on winning it.”

“We have made a few semi-finals in the past and we will be looking for a bit of luck this time to go all the way. I have run out of answers on why we are labelled as chokers. There is no doubt in my mind when I say that this team can win the Cup.”

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