The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We expect a turner: Smith
- South Africa prepared for 'worst' case scenario

Calcutta: South Africa are anticipating a turner in the final Test at the Eden, but believe they'll be equal to the task and will be able to force a result here.

Revealing this soon after landing (along with the Indians) in the city on Thursday afternoon, South African captain Graeme Smith, however, pointed out that they were looking for 'a depth in the game plan' to deal with a possible 'worst' case scenario in the Test, starting Sunday.

'We expect the Eden wicket to turn more (than Kanpur's) and are prepared for the worst. We are getting ready accordingly and hope the boys will handle the pressure well,' Smith observed, adding, 'maybe in Kanpur, the wicket didn't turn the way Indian spinners would have liked it to do. So'

[However, according to a CAB official attached to the preparation of the Eden wicket, it'll not be a 'dust bowl' and instead, will behave traditionally in favour of the seamers in the first couple of days.]

The youngest South African captain, though, viewed that his team ' riding a few positives from the Kanpur game ' would be out in the middle to 'prove a point'.

'We've got to see the pitch and conditions and work on fresh ideas. There will also be morning dew to aid the seamers. Thus, we've got to understand what to expect at the Eden and accordingly, a depth in our game plan is required,' he maintained, while speaking to the reporters.

Like the opening Test in Kanpur, Smith again termed India 'the favourites'. 'As a young side, we demand from each the highest level of performance. It'll be a privilege and honour for our country as well as the team to win the series. Surely, we are looking for a result (to this direction) here,' Smith remarked.

In the same vein, he believed that winning the series in India and against England (back home in December-January) would turn his side into the 'world beaters'.

The South African opener, however, admitted that it's always tough to come to terms with the sudden void in the country's cricket, created with the retirement of few famous old hands in quick succession.

'We lost some great players ' (Allan) Donald, (Gary) Kirsten and (Jonty) Rhodes. They didn't fall from the tree. So it'll take sometime to groom the new ones.'

Smith, however, has warned his side against complacency. And this is his advice for the Proteas: 'After a reasonable show in Kanpur, the players can get a bit relaxed. They have to have the focus on, energy up, and keep up the competitive edge and be hungry.'

Smith, also ruled out enjoying any advantage over his counterpart Sourav Ganguly being uncertain for the match.

'We're not paying too much importance to it. I'm not for any psychological edge (for us). But matters like this take a lot of time and one just can't concentrate (properly on the game). But what is important to us is the side we're playing against,' Smith pointed out.

Meanwhile, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra and Gautam Gambhir arrived from New Delhi late in the evening while Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright followed them on another flight.

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