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‘Will play the game hard’

Johannesburg: South African skipper Graeme Smith on Tuesday sought to play mindgames ahead of the Test series against India, saying the fast and bouncy tracks here will be a real “test of character” for the young Indian batting line-up.

“They are a hugely talented bunch, but very different from the Indian line-up we are accustomed to play against,” said Smith, referring to the transitional period that this Indian team is going through.

“Touring different parts of the world is a test of character and it is going to be so for them in the next two Test matches,” the seasoned South African skipper said on the eve of the first Test.

India’s tour begun on a disastrous note as they were hammered in the first two One-Day Internationals losing by huge margins of 141 and 136 runs respectively.

The Proteas skipper said that he would like his team to play hard and win the Test with a credible performance just like a No 1 team in the world.

“We will play the game hard. Ultimately we want to win this Test match and that is our goal. It won’t be different from the last time we played Test cricket (versus Pakistan).

But there is a big respect-factor for the game and the opposition, and as the No. 1 team in the world, I want to see us have some good credibility and lead the game well,” he said.