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Three-match series is ideal, says Smith

Graeme Smith said he favored three-Test contests between international teams after Pakistan defeated the Proteas 1-0 in the two-match rubber Tuesday.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2003 19:37 IST

South African captain Graeme Smith said he favored three-test contests between international teams after Pakistan defeated the Proteas 1-0 in the two-match rubber Tuesday.

Pakistan clung on for a draw in the second test in Faisalabad after winning the first test by eight wickets at Lahore last week- giving the home side their first win in four test series against the Proteas.

"Three-match series is ideal," Smith said.

"I believe if we had one more game we could have performed much better. I am not making excuses (for the defeat in the test series) but the three-match series could have been ideal," he added. Smith said that his young team performed creditably during the one-month tour of Pakistan during which the Proteas clinched the earlier five-match one-day series 3-2.

"It's a major learning curve for us. You don't get wickets which turn so much back home, but I think overall we did well on this tour," he said.

Experienced Gary Kirsten and Shaun Pollock, the two survivors from South Africa's previous test tour to Pakistan in 1997-98, both performed well in the second Test.

Kirsten, who carried his bat in South Africa's series-clinching victory in Faisalabad in the last series, made 118 while Pollock claimed six wickets in the first innings which restricted Pakistan's lead to just 70 runs.

However, Smith said that it's the spin department which needs urgent attention of cricket administrators back home if Proteas want to compete on the turning tracks of the sub-continent. "It (spinners) is the one area on which I think we need some attention back home and more youngsters should be encouraged (to take up spin bowling)," Smith said.

Smith hoped that his team will do well against the West Indies in the next home series after gaining experience from playing in Pakistan.

"We will be playing in home conditions and on pitches which help the seamers. The batsmen are also used to the conditions," he said. Smith said it was good for cricket that the series had been held in Pakistan despite the security concerns which earlier threatened the tour.

"It has been good for cricket. It has been a hard fought series and tough for the guys."

First Published: Oct 28, 2003 19:37 IST