'We were a lot more disciplined'
Graeme Smith on Thursday said his young team was starting to get its combination right and would be able to pose a serious challenge to the Indians in the remaining two matches of the TVS cup triangular series.india Updated: Apr 18, 2003 00:50 IST
South African captain Graeme Smithon Thursdaysaid his young team was starting to get its combination right and would be able to pose a serious challenge to the Indians in the remaining two matches of the TVS cup triangular series.
"We are starting to get out combinations right. We messed around a bit in the first couple of matches but now we are slowly getting things in order" Smith said after his team crushed hosts Bangladesh by 93 runs to secure a place in the final.
"We were a lot more disciplined in this match. Shaun (Pollock) opening the attack helped the other bowlers to put up a disciplined show. But there is still scope for a lot of improvement," Smith said.
"Shaun put in a couple of tight overs alongwith Ntini and that really set the tone for the evening. It is good to have one of the best bowlers in international cricket to open the the attack", he said.
Smith said he was more or less satisfied that his team could score in excess of 250 on the "slow track".
"When we looked at the track, we thought it was a 250 wicket. Shaun again batted very well to take us beyond that mark. (Jacques) Rudolph is also coming good and will grow in confidence with such knocks," he said.
Asked whether the team had devised any special plans against the Indians whom they will play twice in three days, Smith said "we have improved since our first match. We are getting the basics right and there is no reason why we cannot do well against the Indians".
The young South African captain conceded that the Indians were the "in-form team" and it would need a very good performance to beat them at this stage.
"But we are quite capable of putting up a fight against them," he said.
Man-of the match Shaun Pollock said he always preferred to bowl with the new ball and was glad that his captain asked him to open the attack today.
"I prefer to open the attack, that's what I have been doing all these days. But it was important to try out new combinations for the sake of the team," Pollock who scored a rollicking unbtean 38 and took 3-17, said.
The three wickets also helped him to reach the personal milsestone of 275 wickets in one-day internationals, the highest by a South African till date.
"It's a great feeling to have taken so many wickets. I did not dream of taking so many wickets when I started playing cricket. I just want to keep doing well for the country," Pollock said.
The former captain said the wicket provided some assistance to the bowlers in the first session.
"There was a little bit more bounce in the afternoon, but the wicket had slowed down in the second session."
First Published: Apr 17, 2003 22:48 IST