ODI series victory a bonus ahead of World Cup: Smith
South African captain Graeme Smith has set his eyes on the cricket World Cup next month and said that an ODI series victory over India in Centurion on Sunday would boost his side's morale for the quadrennial showpiece event in the subcontinent.
"Obviously we'd love to finish the series strong tomorrow and freshen up for World Cup, which is going to be six weeks of having to be in your best. The World Cup is an opportunity that I want to give one good go with the guys and see if we can -- we will love to win the World Cup," he said ahead of Sunday's series deciding fifth and final ODI.
"No team holds the advantage tomorrow. It's about who performs better on the day. Obviously, I would love to say that I back us to do well, but you have to go out tomorrow and do the same things well and just perform. Normally, a slightly batting wicket than we have played on in the series so far. So we need to adapt to that," he said.
Talking about the positives his team has drawn in the series which is locked 2-2, he said, "We have learnt some important lessons in this series in terms of being slightly more street smart. And I think that's important for us going into the World Cup. These games are pressure games for us, it was important for us to come back and do well."
Smith said all rounder Jacques Kallis and Imran Tahir will give his side ample options in the World Cup. "We have got a lot of options. We have got Jacques back, obviously his all-round capabilities offer us other options. And we still got Imran who is available in our squad, and we are going to use him when we feel ready. "As I say we have got enough options to pick from. It's nice to have guys like Robin Peterson and Johan (Botha) performing well with the bat. If you have got guys performing well at 8 or 9, it lengthens your batting line-up," he said.
The Protea captain said since the World Cup squad has been out, the players are free of tension.
"Our focus has been on performing here. It certainly helps that the World Cup squad is out now, and the guys can relax and play a little bit more – to not have that sort of on their backs, the tension of whether they are going to get picked or not. "Right now it's about performing for the team. The World Cup is going to be different, totally different conditions, mindset is totally different, the way you select your team, how you play is totally different. You want to play well, and you want to have confidence but World Cup is whole different atmosphere for us," he said.