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South Africa using Bangladesh tour to adjust to subcontinent conditions

Graeme Smith is conscious that this tour to Bangladesh has more to offer his South African lineup than simply an extension of its winning run.
By HT Correspondent | AP, Dhaka
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2008 05:42 PM IST

Graeme Smith is conscious that this tour to Bangladesh has more to offer his South African lineup than simply an extension of its winning run.

South Africa plays two tests against Bangladesh ahead of a tour of India in March.

Smith said south Asian pitch conditions _ characteristically slow and aiding spin _ would be challenging and his touring squad needed to acclimatize quickly to avoid trouble against Bangladesh and to prepare for India.

"We are used to playing in any condition," Smith said. "But we still have to work on a few things here, to adjust to the conditions and climate."

South Africa has won all four previous tests against Bangladesh, the last being in 2003.

And the Proteas are on a roll, having won their last five test series since a 2-0 defeat in Sri Lanka in 2006. That sequence includes series wins at home over India, Pakistan, New Zealand and the West Indies and a 1-0 win in Pakistan.

"We have come here after a successful home series," Smith said Thursday. "We are looking forward to another good and successful series."

Bangladesh has only notched one win in 51 test matches, although it did trouble top-ranked Australia in Dhaka in 2006 before going down by three wickets.

The Bangladeshis have caused some upsets in the limited-overs game, with surprise wins over South Africa and India to qualify for the Super 8s round at last year's World Cup in the West Indies. If anything, though, that gives South Africa more focus. South Africa dropped Herschelle Gibbs from its squad, replacing him with left-handed batsman Jean-Paul Duminy, while left-arm spinner Robin Peterson will stand in for injured Paul Harris. The first test begins Feb. 22 in Dhaka and the second starts February 29 in Chittagong. The limited-overs matches will take place March 9, 12 and 14.

South African squad:
Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Neil McKenzie, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn and Paul Harris.

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