|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
November 24, 2005
Though disappointed that the winning streak was brought to an end in Bangalore, Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, said his team still hopes to become the first South African squad to win a one-day international series on Indian soil.
"We were disappointed to lose after 20 games," Smith said on the eve of the fourth one-dayer at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday. "But our main target is to win the series. We want to be the first South African team to win a ODI series here."
Undeterred by India's valiant comeback into the series at Bangalore, Smith said, "I don't think the momentum is with India. Tomorrow's game is a fresh call. Our confidence is still way up there. Hopefully, we will be able to win the match."
He added that "winning the toss would be crucial" at Kolkata. The pitch, he said, looked different from that of Bangalore, where the ball turned too much and the pitch was not conducive for an international one-dayer. "The wicket looks good. There is a little more grass than expected. If the wicket behaves well, it will be a really good game."
Asked if there would be any special strategy for in-form youngsters Irfan Pathan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Smith replied: "In a team of 12, you can't take anyone for granted. No one is more important than others. For us, every guy is equally important. We are just going to concentrate on our own game."
The super-substitute rule, he felt, gave additional advantage to the team winning the toss. "You need to rethink on that so that the super-sub can be chosen after the toss to balance the advantage to either side."
With Kolkata holding a special place for South Africa as it marked a re-birth of their cricket in the post-apartheid era in the 1991 series, Smith said, "It's always a good occasion to play here. It's going to be a massive experience for our youngsters. This is a rainbow team, part of a new culture. Hopefully we will be able to win here tomorrow."
ESPNcricinfo looks at five reasons for England's failure to compete in Australia