SA eye series win in Pak

Graeme Smith will be aiming to lead South Africa to a series win against Pakistan with a win in the second Test on Monday.

updated: October 09, 2007 15:28 IST
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Graeme Smith will be aiming to lead South Africa to its first series victory against a major subcontinent opponent in seven years when the Proteas face Pakistan in the second Test on Monday.

"We have given ourselves a great chance of winning a series in the subcontinent and it's something we are hungry to achieve," Smith said on Sunday.

South Africa recorded a 160-run victory in the first Test at Karachi with Jacques Kallis (155 and 100 not out) scoring centuries in each innings.

"We have come here to win Test matches and victory in the first Test is a fantastic confidence booster for us," Smith said.

The three pillars of the subcontinent - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - have denied South Africa series victories since 2000.

However, Smith led South Africa to 2-0 victory in 2003 Test series against Bangladesh soon after he was appointed captain after the World Cup in 2003.

"It has taken three years to build up a team from where you can challenge other teams in the world and it's very encouraging," Smith said.

South Africa has minor injury problems to newly appointed vice-captain Ashwell Prince (stomach) and Andre Nel (hamstring), but Smith said he hoped both to be fit.

"There are one or two small niggles which we are managing, but everyone will hopefully come up for selection," he said.

Inzamam returns

Pakistan's inexperienced middle-order batting will be strengthened with the return of Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has announced his retirement after the Lahore Test, and Mohammad Yousuf.

Yousuf opted out of the first Test at the last minute on match fitness grounds while Inzamam made himself unavailable before announcing his retirement during the Karachi Test match.

Inzamam - playing in his 120th Test - needs further 20 runs to break Javed Miandad's record of 8,832 Test runs, but Smith was little worried with the return of the two experienced batsmen.

"Our gameplan is pretty much in place for these two batters," he said.

"We are pretty comfortable, they are class players but every team these days have world class players."

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was confident that the return of Inzamam and Yousuf could help his team level the series at Gaddafi Stadium where South Africa lost three years ago by eight wickets and also lost the series 1-0.

"The way Inzamam batted in the nets today, it has given me a lot of encouragement," Malik said.

For Malik, Kallis - dropped twice at Karachi in the first innings - was the major difference.

"We made mistakes in the first Test and hope not to repeat them," Malik said.


South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn.

Pakistan (from): Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Hameed, Taufeeq Umar, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman, Rao Iftikhar.