We can beat India: Smith
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We can beat India: Smith

Graeme Smith conceded that India were favourites for the final but said his fast-improving team was capable of beating them.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2003 13:01 IST

South African captain Graeme Smithon Saturdayconceded that India were the favourites to win the final of the TVS Cupon Sundaybut said his fast-improving young team was quite capable of beating them.

"We have to play very well to beat the in-form Indians. But if we keep improving the way we have done, there is no reason why we can not emerge victorious," Smith said on the eve of the day-night final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.

Already South Africa have inflicted the first defeat on the Indians in this tournament, winning by five wickets in the last league match yesterday, and Smith said a victory in the final would be the perfect reward for his team which was settling down into a nice rhythm.

"The team is together and we are working really hard because it is a transition phase for us. If we can win tomorrow, it will be a big boost for us," Smith, at 22 the youngest player to lead South Africa, said.

He said the youngsters in the team, who made it to the national squad in place of a number of senior players who either retired or were dropped after South Africa's premature exit from the World Cup, had a lot of potential and were willing to learn fast.

"Of course the absence of so many seniors cannot be filled up overnight. But the new members have been trying really hard. The team is on the right track and slowly getting the combinations right," he said.

"The win in the previous match has made us confident," Smith said.

Smith also hinted that the same team which did duty to register a five-wicker win against India in the last match would be fielded tomorrow but the decision would be made only after having a look at the pitch in the morning.

Having played a day-night encounter yesterday, neither team had a practice session today. Instead, they preferred to spend some time in their hotel swimming pool.

"Since we had played a game yesterday we decided to rest today. It is also too hot and the boys need a rest," Smith explained.

The Indians also spent the day indoors and had a brief session at the pool. Captain Sourav Ganguly, however, went to the stadium to have a look at the pitch before the team meeting at the hotel where the playing eleven was expected to be finalised.

First Published: Apr 19, 2003 21:23 IST