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South Africa have dominated the pre-series verbal exchanges but need to match that with quality cricket, even more so now as they are without the services of Jacques Kallis for the ODI series, writes Lawrence Booth in his blog Top Spin in the Daily Mail.
The problem with dishing out verbals – and Mickey Arthur and Graeme Smith have served theirs with extra relish – is that they can be used in evidence later on. It also helps to have the armoury to put the battle-cry into effect. Steve Waugh remembers bouncing West Indies No 11 Patrick Patterson with his little medium-pacers in a Test at Melbourne, only for the grease-lightning fast Patterson to retaliate by skittling the Aussies for 114.