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India deserved to win T20: Smith

cricket Updated: Sep 27, 2007 02:47 IST

PTI
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South African skipper Graeme Smith on Thursday said India deserved to win the Twenty Cricket World Cup as it was improving with each match.

"India deserved to win as they had started to look a very good side with every match in the competition," said Smith, who arrived here with his team for a month-long cricket tour.

The South African were knocked out of the tournament by India before the semi-finals, but Smith said his team was over the disappointment and were loking forward to the series against Pakistan.

"Going out after just one defeat was hard to digest but players were now just concentrating on a couple of good series ahead of them instead of what happened in the Twenty20 World Cup."

Smith said Twenty20 cricket could help in promoting the game to the countries, where the following of the game was not much.

"The organisation of the World Cup was fantastic back home. The crowds came in and enjoyed themselves. Twenty20 cricket is a sign of modern times. It is a good way to introduce the game to countries where there is no fanatical cricket following like in Pakistan or India," Smith said, adding "Test cricket was still the real challenge."

Smith also said the Pakistan tour would help them find future players. "We are looking forward to our series against Pakistan now. It is a good opportunity for us to try out some new blood who can serve us for a couple of years."

Praising his Pakistani counterpart's captaincy skills, Smith said Shoaib Malik was a very talented player but the people and selectors needed to be patient with him to deliver results.

"He is 25 years and he showed good stuff in the Twenty20 World Cup. But for him I think the real challenge will come against us and in coming series against India and Australia. But I wish him well," he said.

Smith was candid in saying that the 'atmosphere' in Pakistan was different to that of his country. "I am not going to lie about how we feel about the security. It is different to how we live back home. But it is not the first time we are facing this. Security has become part of international sports and we have our own security men travelling with us to put things into place and the security in Pakistan is fantastic.

"It is something we have to come to terms to live with these issues. We are realistic about it. We trust the security people so that we can go out and play cricket," he said.