The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We're ready for any challenge: Smith
- South Africa forced to cancel practice due to flight delay

Jaipur: South Africa captain Graeme Smith is confident that an aggressive approach can bring his side back-to-back Test wins in India.

South Africa, who won 2-0 on their last visit in 2000 to inflict the first home Test series defeat on India in over 13 years, arrived on Friday with the country celebrating Diwali.

'We'll take an aggressive and a positive approach,' Smith told reporters in Jaipur, where the South Africans begin their tour on Sunday with a three-day match against Board President's XI.

'We've come here to win, we have a game plan,' he said.

Smith leads an inexperienced squad in which he is one of 10 players who have never played in India before.

'We'll try to acclimatise ourselves to the conditions as quickly as possible,' he said. 'We're ready for any kind of challenge.'

South Africa have been going through a lean patch, winning Test series only against Bangladesh and the West Indies, and Smith said recently that his team had hit rock bottom.

But the 23-year-old, who will rely heavily on experienced campaigners such as former captain Shaun Pollock and allrounder Jacques Kallis, believed the team can turn things around.

'Pollock is playing a dual role,' Smith said. 'He's been to India a few times and he's giving vital tips to the youngsters.'

India have also been struggling, losing three one-day tournaments in a row and going down 1-2 to Australia in a Test series.

'For a young team, no place can be better than India to learn,' South Africa coach Ray Jennings said. 'We're going to go with that attitude and hope we can repeat our 2000 performance.'

The first Test starts in Kanpur on November 20 and the second will be played at Eden Gardens in Calcutta from November 28.

Meanwhile, the South African team was forced to cancel their evening practice session on Friday following a flight delay and part arrival of the kit.

The visitors had to off-load some of their luggage at Mumbai as the flight which took them here was not big enough to accommodate all the 84 luggage pieces.

Their arrival in Mumbai early on Friday was already delayed by three hours and they landed at 3 am instead of the scheduled midnight arrival.

The team was, however, pleasantly surprised by the cool weather in Jaipur and settled for a brief session of football in the hotel's back lawn before hitting the pool.

The South Africans will have their first practice session on Saturday ahead of the three-day warm-up match.

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