Smith, Pollock want team to mature

South African skipper Graeme Smith and former captain Shaun Pollock on Wednesday said their new-look cricket team needed time to develop into a top side.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2003 23:08 IST

South African skipper Graeme Smith and former captain Shaun Pollock on Wednesday said their new-look cricket team needed time to develop into a top side.

"We are a young side and need time to settle down," said Smith during a three-nation tournament in which they have lost to India by 153 runs but beat hosts Bangladesh by 83 runs in preliminary matches.

"One should not expect clinicial performances from us like that of a top professional side as it is a transitional period for us," said 22-year-old Smith, who took over from Pollock after the World Cup.

South Africa, who failed to go beyond the first round of this year's World Cup, are in a rebuilding process after the retirement of paceman Allan Donald and batsmen Gary Kirsten and Jonty Rhodes.

Star all-rounder Jacques Kallis too is not here because of an illness in the family while the selectors did not pick Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje, leaving Smith with an inexperienced side.

"I think our bowlers are adapting quickly. Pacer Allan Dawson is bowling particularly well and is probably our best bowler after Shaun (Pollock).

"We should keep in mind the fact that our bowlers lack the experience of playing outside South Africa. I am sure they will improve in the long run as well as in this tournament."

Pollock felt the players had it in them to develop into a top side.

"It takes time for young players to step into senior players' shoes," said 29-year-old Pollock.

"There is a lot of talent and ability in our team but it is not fair to compare a newcomer with someone who has played over a 100 one-dayers," he said.

"Who knows, there might be a top-class player waiting to establish himself "

First Published: Apr 15, 2003 23:08 IST