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South Africa wary of England fightback

Graeme Smith today said wounded England are expected to come hard in Sunday's clash, following their humiliating defeat against Ireland, but South Africa are well prepared for the fight.

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2011 18:36 IST

Graeme Smith on Saturday said wounded England are expected to come hard in Sunday's clash, following their humiliating defeat against Ireland, but South Africa are well prepared for the fight.

England were shocked by minnows Ireland in their previous league outing, while Smith and Co are on a high following two comprehensive victories.

"England's performance has been really credible over a long period of time now. You got to respect them. You got to know that they have got the ability to play really well tomorrow. As a team we know that. So we have prepared for the best England team tomorrow. We expect them to bounce back," Smith said on the eve of the match.

"Obviously the Ireland win would have hurt them a lot. But tomorrow will be a very very different game,” Smith said.

England, with a tie against India and a win against the Netherlands, are in a must win situation in tomorrow's clash.

"I think England-South Africa always really big games always been really competitive. This game we look forward to. All our series and games have been exciting to watch. So I expect tomorrow will be no different we obviously expect England to perform really well. We are set up for a really exciting game," Smith said.

The Proteas captain said the key for South Africa would be carry on playing as a unit and perform their roles well.

"We just got to come out tomorrow be solid. Be consistent and perform our roles. Hopefully be one step ahead of England that will be nice. But as I said earlier, I expect England to be really good tomorrow. Obviously its always a big game for them. From our perspective we just want to be consistent as we have been in the tournament so far."

Talking about the conditions here, he said it was a bit warmer than Delhi and Mohali. "But it looks like a normal Chennai wicket. We started our preparation here in Chennai before the tournament (with the warm up game). So we have spent some time here," he added.

Asked whether he still thought the Chepauk ground would offer assistance to swing bowling as has been the case traditionally, he said, "With day games, I think you get slightly different conditions. With a 9.30 am start, you might count a little bit of swing up front like we had the day game in Mohali where we got a little bit of that stuff. We are pretty much prepared for what to expect in Chennai."

Smith also informed that A B de Villers has recovered from his back problem and is fit for tomorrow's match.

Smith agreed that Pakistan born leg spinner Imran Tahir has sharpened their attack a lot more.

"He gives us an attacking spin option which is exciting. From a captain's point of view it is nice to have all these variations and use a few more different things throughout the game. It certainly has added impetus to our attack especially in the middle periods. But overall I think we have got a side with more variations and lot more options available."