New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Wellington, 5th day March 27, 2012

'New Zealand didn't deserve anything more' - Smith

South Africa could have declared earlier and tempted the hosts to go for the target in Wellington, but having dominated the series Graeme Smith did not want to risk a loss
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Few could deny that South Africa deserved to win the Test series against New Zealand. They were, as their captain Graeme Smith said, "on the front foot" most of the time. Their bowling was pure class, their batting got better as the series went on and they kept New Zealand under pressure throughout. If anything, the victory could have been by a bigger margin than 1-0. Had rain not affected the first and third Tests, had Smith left New Zealand a few more overs to face in Wellington: these are the what-ifs that will remain.

Smith had to perform a tricky balancing act on the final day, knowing that a draw was enough to seal the series but a win would make the scoreline more emphatic. He could have dangled a carrot and set New Zealand a chaseable target, but waited till the target had swelled to 389 runs off around 80 overs before declaring. Smith said he did not want to give the hosts any chance of levelling the series, since it was one South Africa had dominated.

"I don't think New Zealand deserved anything more," he said. "Being 1-0 up in the series I didn't think they deserved any more." Smith's statement suggested he did not think New Zealand had earned the right to be in with a chance of victory, and he was not going to allow them one with a sporting declaration.

New Zealand had been behind in the Test right until the final day. After putting South Africa in to bat, they conceded 474 runs, despite South Africa having to bat through significant rain-delays. New Zealand collapsed in familiar fashion on the fourth day as they failed to contend with a display of pace bowling that will be remembered for a long time. They did finally get things right on the final day, battling with the bat to earn a draw, which according to Smith, was all they deserved from the Test. Smith said New Zealand were the team that had shown less intent to go after a win.

"I felt New Zealand could have been more aggressive in their first innings," he said. "They never got to three runs per over throughout the Test match and maybe played a bit defensively through the middle part of the game. But we were aggressive throughout."

Smith had the luxury of a bowling attack that is naturally aggressive but he said they had also batted with the same positivity. "We showed that last night with the way we came out and built a platform. This morning I thought we played positively from the get-go and scored well." AB de Villiers and JP Duminy helped South Africa score 114 runs in just over an hour on the fifth morning, at a rate of 7.92 runs per over.

New Zealand never showed the same intent at any stage in the series, and Brendon McCullum admitted South Africa had been the team in control. "I think they deserved to win the series, they've been the better team throughout," he said. He also said he understood Smith's tactic to bat New Zealand out of the game before declaring. "They definitely didn't want to give us a sniff, and I completely understand that because they dominated the game for so long. They didn't need to entertain the thought of us winning."

The gulf between the two sides has at times during the series seemed wider than Lake Taupo. However, there were phases when the contest was much closer. In each of the first two Tests, New Zealand bowled South Africa out for under 300 in the first innings. In every match, New Zealand have had a partnership that has threatened to take the game away from the South Africa bowlers.

At every juncture though, New Zealand have stopped short of taking control and allowed South Africa to assert themselves. At those same junctures, South Africa have had answers.

"We've competed at times and I guess we'll never know what could've happened in that first Test," McCullum said. "As a whole I think a fighting effort like we put up on this final day was a really good result. We had them on the ropes at times but I think 1-0 is probably a fair reflection of the series."

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • beejaytee on March 28, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    Typical. What Smith should have said was "This is the result both teams deserved." For all the talk of playing the "perfect match", SA remain hilariously conservative. Considering the talent in the team, this fear of losing is now the one glaring weakness that remains. Worrying about what your opposition "deserves"? Ridiculous, and also untrue. Smith was afraid of losing to a much weaker side, and ending the string of away series wins. He was also possibly worried about the mental scars that might emerge should NZ manage to put together a decent innings against his (rightly) vaunted attack before they start preparing for England. By keeping the innings to 80 overs, he ensured that the bowler's momentum would continue without any possibility of lengthy spells or real pressure. He didn't even trust his boys to repeat what they'd done all tour - bowl NZ out for less than 300. SA don't deserve the #1 spot.

  • on March 28, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    "The series did justice to the ranking of both teams" REALLY? REALLY? if it did why would RSA drop one rating point after winning the series?

  • Loyd4148 on March 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Some comments on this article are rubbish in my opinion. For some to say that Smith is the worst captain is preposterous! Just look at his captaincy record, his second innings centuries and compare that we all the South African captains that preceded him and i'm sure none match his stats, so, please give Smith a break. In fact, as a South African, i'm quite happy that we are NOT the No 1 ranked Test side, as that will put unnecessary pressure on the boys to perform, and the underdog's tag suits us perfectly. For those of you who seem to think that England is the best side in the world must just wake up from wonderland, because England are just poor when it comes to playing in the sub-continent as opposed to the Proteas!

  • Shongololo on March 28, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Mel-vin, we're talking about the just-completed series in New Zealand. You may choose to harp on about the last WC and NZ's now-favourite cry of 'Hobart' but they are both irrelevant to the domination SA showed in all three formats, against NZ, in NZ, in the series under discussion. But then you guys invented Suzi so nothing surprises me...

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    To put this quote in context we must remember that NZ WON the toss and chose to bowl first. Sure conditions were difficult for bowlers and rain interrupted them but they made little to no effort to force a result. Their team selection was defensive (remove a bowler after failing to get 20 SA wickets on two occasions) from the outset. The onus was never on SA to create a situation in which either team could win. That was NZ's responsibility in this Test and they never made an effort to do that. Even the NZ commentators were talking about a lack of intensity from NZ. They didn't deserve to be in with a shout in this match because they never made the effort themselves.

  • Ra_Thore on March 27, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    Bad remark by captain Smith. Remember, SA lost to NZ in the last WC.

  • Spelele on March 27, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Why exactly should SA strive to be like the 'great West Indian and Australian sides of the past'? SA are SA; not anybody else. They are going to dominate world cricket in their own way. They need to form their own identity. Although I can't wait till AB becomes the Test captain, I have a lot of respect for Smith. Call him defensive, arrogant or a bully all you want, but he leads from the front. When he gets going, SA are bound to win. His so-called arrogant attitude sends a clear message to future opposition like Eng and Aus. SA's problem has always been inconsistency (winning today, and then losing the next match). It is good to see Gary encouraging an approach from the premise that we should not lose first. That is top priority! SA had no business chasing the game having already won an away series they've dominated. I like the new attitude. Shut out any possibility of the opposition winning and attack relentlessly with a fearsome attack. SA will be a very hard nut to crack soon :)

  • Shongololo on March 27, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    Smith has never been an articulate captain, so no surprises that he said 'NZ did not deserve...' Better to have said 'South Africa deserved...' for he would have been spot on, there would have been none of this post-series Kiwi whining and wild speculation regarding possible outcomes in Dunedin. The facts are, the rain robbed SA of a 3-0 victory; there is an enormous gulf between the two sides, and NZ at home are a tricky proposition. So, well done, South Africa, you won all three series', away from home...and would have done even better had the weather not intervened. I agree, though, that AB should replace Smith as captain, that Boucher must go...NOW.

  • geedubnz on March 27, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    Didn't deserve anything more. Way to reinforce the stereotype, Graeme.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    why the uproar against Smith? his comments were completely justified. Why declare, and give us a chance of drawing a series that South Africa deserved to win? This isn't arrogance, but pure truth. What an excellent bowling unit the South Africans are. Our batsmen played some poor shots, for sure, but for the most part South Africa were just too good with the ball in hand.

  • beejaytee on March 28, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    Typical. What Smith should have said was "This is the result both teams deserved." For all the talk of playing the "perfect match", SA remain hilariously conservative. Considering the talent in the team, this fear of losing is now the one glaring weakness that remains. Worrying about what your opposition "deserves"? Ridiculous, and also untrue. Smith was afraid of losing to a much weaker side, and ending the string of away series wins. He was also possibly worried about the mental scars that might emerge should NZ manage to put together a decent innings against his (rightly) vaunted attack before they start preparing for England. By keeping the innings to 80 overs, he ensured that the bowler's momentum would continue without any possibility of lengthy spells or real pressure. He didn't even trust his boys to repeat what they'd done all tour - bowl NZ out for less than 300. SA don't deserve the #1 spot.

  • on March 28, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    "The series did justice to the ranking of both teams" REALLY? REALLY? if it did why would RSA drop one rating point after winning the series?

  • Loyd4148 on March 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Some comments on this article are rubbish in my opinion. For some to say that Smith is the worst captain is preposterous! Just look at his captaincy record, his second innings centuries and compare that we all the South African captains that preceded him and i'm sure none match his stats, so, please give Smith a break. In fact, as a South African, i'm quite happy that we are NOT the No 1 ranked Test side, as that will put unnecessary pressure on the boys to perform, and the underdog's tag suits us perfectly. For those of you who seem to think that England is the best side in the world must just wake up from wonderland, because England are just poor when it comes to playing in the sub-continent as opposed to the Proteas!

  • Shongololo on March 28, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Mel-vin, we're talking about the just-completed series in New Zealand. You may choose to harp on about the last WC and NZ's now-favourite cry of 'Hobart' but they are both irrelevant to the domination SA showed in all three formats, against NZ, in NZ, in the series under discussion. But then you guys invented Suzi so nothing surprises me...

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    To put this quote in context we must remember that NZ WON the toss and chose to bowl first. Sure conditions were difficult for bowlers and rain interrupted them but they made little to no effort to force a result. Their team selection was defensive (remove a bowler after failing to get 20 SA wickets on two occasions) from the outset. The onus was never on SA to create a situation in which either team could win. That was NZ's responsibility in this Test and they never made an effort to do that. Even the NZ commentators were talking about a lack of intensity from NZ. They didn't deserve to be in with a shout in this match because they never made the effort themselves.

  • Ra_Thore on March 27, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    Bad remark by captain Smith. Remember, SA lost to NZ in the last WC.

  • Spelele on March 27, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Why exactly should SA strive to be like the 'great West Indian and Australian sides of the past'? SA are SA; not anybody else. They are going to dominate world cricket in their own way. They need to form their own identity. Although I can't wait till AB becomes the Test captain, I have a lot of respect for Smith. Call him defensive, arrogant or a bully all you want, but he leads from the front. When he gets going, SA are bound to win. His so-called arrogant attitude sends a clear message to future opposition like Eng and Aus. SA's problem has always been inconsistency (winning today, and then losing the next match). It is good to see Gary encouraging an approach from the premise that we should not lose first. That is top priority! SA had no business chasing the game having already won an away series they've dominated. I like the new attitude. Shut out any possibility of the opposition winning and attack relentlessly with a fearsome attack. SA will be a very hard nut to crack soon :)

  • Shongololo on March 27, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    Smith has never been an articulate captain, so no surprises that he said 'NZ did not deserve...' Better to have said 'South Africa deserved...' for he would have been spot on, there would have been none of this post-series Kiwi whining and wild speculation regarding possible outcomes in Dunedin. The facts are, the rain robbed SA of a 3-0 victory; there is an enormous gulf between the two sides, and NZ at home are a tricky proposition. So, well done, South Africa, you won all three series', away from home...and would have done even better had the weather not intervened. I agree, though, that AB should replace Smith as captain, that Boucher must go...NOW.

  • geedubnz on March 27, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    Didn't deserve anything more. Way to reinforce the stereotype, Graeme.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    why the uproar against Smith? his comments were completely justified. Why declare, and give us a chance of drawing a series that South Africa deserved to win? This isn't arrogance, but pure truth. What an excellent bowling unit the South Africans are. Our batsmen played some poor shots, for sure, but for the most part South Africa were just too good with the ball in hand.

  • Maccanui on March 27, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    Agree NZ didn't deserve a chance to win but it still doesn't explain the decision to bowl Duminy and to a lesser extent de Marchant for so long - and I think most commentators agree that a lead over 380 was unnecessary. But thanks for that anyway, probably a case of Smith's arrogance and conservatism getting in the way again. We got dominated pretty hard all series by a quality side, competing in the odd session here and there is never going to be enough but you need to learn your lessons somewhere. Great to get some decent time playing tests against top level opposition.

  • Vilander on March 27, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Imran Khan should not be quoted when the discussion is about great test sides. His side was a very poor side, it was just his charisma.

  • KevinE on March 27, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    I have no problem with Smith's declaration. SA were dominant throughout the test series and he was not about to risk throwing that all away by giving NZ even remote a chance of winning. SA came very close to winning on a flat deck and I struggle to see how Smith gets the blame for this. The 3 things that saved NZ (in order) were: 1. the weather; 2. Gillespie avoiding the follow-on; 3. Some real guts and technique from Williamson.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    It's not the most comfortable hearing it from the Captain of the opposition but I think what Smith said was fair, NZ didn't deserve to be in the position to cause stress to SA. I think McCullum spoke well in the presentation when he talked of learning a lot of lessons from SA, which I think a lot of the batsmen certainly will. Steyn not apologising to Williamson and making it known he wouldn't was dramatic, but 102* was a fairly emphatic reply to that. Great series, it's been nice to see these legends in action.

  • on March 27, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    This is the Smith that South Africa needs. This is a guy thats changed so much from the young punk that took over. Say what you like NZ, never had a chance and Smith is just voicing fact. He has instilled sound discipline and a willingness to win at all costs. You go boys!

  • KiwiPom on March 27, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Both skippers had it right. 1-0 was about right. The first drawn test could have gone either way. NZ showed some fight to avoid defeat in the last. Smith would have been a mug to declare earlier given his 1-0 lead plus the usual featherbed status of NZ 5th day test pitches.

  • Street_Hawk on March 27, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Seriously, Smith needs to go as a captain...he is such a defensive captain and because of captains like him SA will never be the greatest team Aussies or WI were...Imran Khan once said he only plays for win...he or Clive Lloyd or Steve Waugh did not care about who deserved what or what the ranking is going to be...and I am comparing this SA team with Aussies or WI because this SA team has the potential to be as great as those teams were..they could have easily had set NZ a target of 300 and had 100+ overs to bowl them out...Aussies from the late 90s-early 2000 would have certainly done so and if they lost, they would have said-" well, you deserved it mate"...but in the end, they had won way more than they lost because this instills a killer instinct in you

  • TrickyKid on March 27, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    His arrogant attitude cost them the match, as well as their terrible fielding.

    This and Steyn's "I'm not going to apoligise" and bouncing tail-enders made me think a lot less of then SA side.

  • on March 27, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    I think Smith makes a valid statement. NZ did not deserve the chance to win. Not with how SA dominated throughout. Great captaincy.

    Also, I believe what comes around, goes around. NZ were very unsportsmanlike in the world cup ODI victory. Mind games are one thing and I'm all for it, but there's a line you draw. I'm ecstatic that SA were victorious in all formats (esp the ODI's), and believe that was karma balancing itself against NZ.

  • on March 27, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Poor words by smith.. he should be saying his team deserved it.. because they did.. that team would have troubled any team in the world atm.

    Remember this is the same New Zealand team who won vs Australia in the last test series..

    Oh and Smith.. lets not forget who knocked you out of the world cup last year ;)

  • SamRoy on March 27, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    NZ are a pretty bad test batting team. They can't hide the fact. NZ didn't deserve anything more but SA certainly did deserve more. At least should have won this test match. Fat boy Smith needs to get himself out of the slips as he is becoming too slow to react. And Boucher needs to go. He is becoming as bad as Haddin and Kamran Akmal behind the stumps. Should have been given marching orders from the team along with Ntini. I am sure there are plenty of wicketkeepers in SA who are better than Boucher.

  • on March 27, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Smith has himself to blame for not winning. Don't get me wrong- he's a great player and leader but why on earth was Duminy bowling towards the end for so long and causing NO issues for any batsman when they we're struggling with the quicks? SA are my team but had that been Australia 2 or 3 years ago in SA's position I could almost guarantee they would have won. Also setting NZ so much to win (and wasting time in doing so). NZ have probably never in their history chased near 400 in the 4th innings against such a quality attack. And bowling De Lange for the last few instead of Steyn? I understand that SA would have been gutted to lose from there but they gotta have faith and trust themselves if they wanna be a truly dominant team. Can't wait for the SA vs ENG series!

  • on March 27, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    "I don't think New Zealand deserved anything more" If smith has said this than it makes him the most arrogant man on this planet.

  • jabrankundi on March 27, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    I would not like if SA end up similar to the Australian team of 2000s. They should just let the ball and bat do the talking.

    And all that talk of the last day's play is pure rubbish. The series did justice to the ranking of both teams. SA aren't number 1 and they showed it, especially with their fielding in the last test...NZ are at 8 and they showed it throughout the series.

  • Nadeem1976 on March 27, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    I like this tough Smith. If South africa needs to become #1 test team then they need to not allow oppositions to win any test matches at any cost. I hope eng vs sa will be a great series because Smith is not looking in mood to lose that series. Waiting for english summer now. Wow.

  • on March 27, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    "I don't think New Zealand deserved anything more," he said. "Being 1-0 up in the series I didn't think they deserved any more." Smith's statement suggested he did not think New Zealand had earned the right to be in with a chance of victory, and he was not going to allow them one with a sporting declaration.--- Smith has every right to do what he thinks is best for his team. But to sit in judgment about what the Blackcaps 'deserved' or did not deserve is not fair. Even as a fan of SA cricket, it leaves bad taste in the mouth. It wd be a more honest statement to say that he did not want to take the 'risk' of losing the match. Declaration is a matter of strategy and team goals; it is not that the Kiwis begged as lams from Smith. Being tough and ruthless and pursue win is one thing; showing a lack of grace is another thing. Way back 2009 I admired Smith's courage in coming out to bat one handed to save a Test. He went up a notch or two in our estimate. Cant say that today.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 27, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    At the end of the day it was the weather that scuppered SA victory plans throughout the whole series. Could have been 2-0 or 3-0, weather permitting. If you watch the test match ball by ball, you could see the difference in class was very apparent. I think Smith needs to go as Captain, never liked him, way too defensive and he doesnt bring that postive ánything is possible' attitude that AB de Villiers brings. I want AB as test captain now !!!!

  • hashabjp on March 27, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    @Michael_Jayawardene ...... well dude don't worry this team is going to the top and rule for a long time ... It was a great declaration keeping in mind the situation... He covered all the basis...not to give a whiff of victory to the new zealand... to make them just survive and keeping that thought of surviving in their mind all the time and let his bowlers just bowl with every freedom they can .... if it wasn't for the drop catches you would know South Africa is on the top. As far their record of no series loosing outside since 2007 .... even teams of past couldnt hold up to that ....

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    But it wasn't 3-0 rain or no rain and continuing Smiths logic NZ deserve to win the 1st test because they got themselves in position to deserve it and SA were saved by the rain.

  • Noball_Specialist on March 27, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    I could have told you it would have been a draw on the second day of lost play. Lost play and waste of time later. No change in winner.

  • binojpeter on March 27, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Even though what Smith said appear to be harsh, it is the truth considering the role the rain played in the outcome of the series.

  • montys_muse on March 27, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Not New Zealand, but South Africa deserved more...Smith was terrible as a captain...having lost the opportunity to win 3-0, he could have pursued for 2-0 more aggressively.

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    To sum up 2 valid points already mentioned: Dropped catches prevented SA from winning Rain prevented SA from winning

    What's totally invalid is that Smith cost his team the victory. Decided to give the new ball to Morkel - great decision. If that hadn't come off everyone would be saying "why didn't he give the new ball to Steyn? Obvious to give the cherry to the best bowler in the world". That's why he's the captain and you're all hecklers on the sideline. Smith detractors have a very limited knowledge of the game. The guy hardly drops a catch and averages 50 as an opener and his captaincy is highly regarded amongst those who actually understand the nuances of cricket.

  • DannoTheManno on March 27, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    It rained for 2 days and even still it was a close thing for NZ to hold on.. not sure how Smith can be balmed for a draw here... that's just outrageous. Saying 1-0 is a good result for new zealand is like saying the weather played really good cricket.. after all that is the only thing that saved them from a white wash.

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    To all those criticising SA's inability to win the match, I point to the fact that 96 overs were lost to rain. That, incidentally is exactly how long New Zealand lasted in the first innings.

    Smith was right to bat as "long" as he did. Giving New Zealand 110 overs to chase 200 for victory would have been idiocy. Even on the morning, giving NZ 95 overs to chase 275 would have been foolish. From that scenario, spending 14 overs batting is just plain common sense. In hindsight, Smith could have declared 5 overs earlier, but really, test matches are not supposed to be about 5 overs here or there.

    SA gave NZ a thorough hiding in this test series. NZ can hype up their chances in the first test, but reality is they were completely outplayed, and only thanks to the weather managed to escape so relatively unscathed.

  • PureTom on March 27, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    If Smith had declared with a lead of 300 he would have gained 45 minutes. Not much really. The only reason 2 tests were drawn was the weather, if full time had been available NZ would have struggled to draw, let alone win a game. Those whining about Smith's captaincy: rather whine about SA's catching. They'd have won at a canter if they'd held their catches.

  • 99problemsbutapitchaintone on March 27, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Its a bit harsh to call Smith conservative on this declaration. The last 10 overs of the SA innings cost 80 runs. If he had declared before that New Zealand would have been looking at chasing 300 in 90 overs. That is a very acheivable total and Smith would have been sacked had NZ chased that down and leveled the series. I agree you must back your bowlers, but this wicket was flat. Plus, he backed his bowlers to bowl them out in 80 overs, and they nearly did. The weather was unfortunate for SA, but that is New Zealand. The dropped catches are a worry. SA need to tighten up.

    SA should not have left out Tahir, he could have played an important role on this final day. We need to back our players - SA didn't need another quick and the spin would have offered a good alternative especially against the lower order.

  • JM_RSA on March 27, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Cant blame Smith for fielding and rain, i guess the weather was also on Englands side!

  • Arthur on March 27, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    South Africa must still be one of the most defensive Test sides, despite all the talent it has at its disposal. It's good to win three trophies and to be claiming bragging rights like Smith does. But even with his talented team, the South Africans are going to come unstuck against stiffer opposition. The fact they have dominated and won, hides the fact that there are still too many first innings implosions as occurred against New Zealand. If Smith is saying that he was not going to give them (Kiwis) a chance of drawing a series, what has happened to their promise of being brave and playing brave cricket? Why wait so long to declare and why give Duminy so many overs. Philander then proved to be impotent on the last day. Morkel tends to bully the batsmen into getting wickets. And what about all those dropped catches? Long way to go before being a champion Test side South Africa. Now there's a T20 World Cup to win? Will they do it? I say no. Smith is the most unenterprising captain!

  • Amol_Gh on March 27, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Again...rain has played its part as a foil to SA's plans to win or win by better margin.

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    There was no rain on the last day, new zealand never scored 300 in any of the test and had one of their best batsmen injuried, what was Smith scared of? If he can not make a good decision when the pressures off, whats he going to do when the pressures on i.e against Sri Lanka and Australia at home this year against mid ranked teams. Thats what happens to bully boys when they can not dominate

  • SICHO on March 27, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Aahhh... Come on all i hear is that SA is lacking the "killer" blow and Smith is to be blamed, that is just crazy. If the final test was have played for 5 full days SA could have been well on top

  • CricketingStargazer on March 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Graeme Smith's comment maybe sounds like a little condescening when quoted back that way. Once the lead passed 330 there was really very little chance that New Zealand were ever going to chase it in the 4th innings and less still when they have been consistently outgunned all series. It was a surprisingly defensive mindset and declaration for a side wanting to get to #1.

  • Bill.W on March 27, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Rain -2 / South Africa -1 / New Zealand - 0 : that is the reality, if not for the rain 2 it would have been South Africa 3!!

  • kensohatter on March 27, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    England and South Africa both lack the ability to finish matches and perform when really under pressure. Surely Smith can challenge his bowlers and go for a win against a no.8 ranked test side with an injured captain. The Kiwis should be proud of their perfomances this season 1-1 against the aussies and now only giving up one test to south africa.

  • inswing on March 27, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Well done NZ to hold on to the draw. The defensive captaincy by Smith rears its head again. We certainly need to do something about this attitude of winning one Test and then holding on for draws for the other Tests to win a series. Why are only series wins important? Every Test ought to be important in in its own right. The ranking system should be adjusted such that a 2-0 win is far better than a 1-0 win. The ranking points are important because they would decide who plays in the Test championship. Restore the importance of each Test.

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    This is exactly why South Africa are not number 1. Look at their side best bowling attack, best all-rounder probably ever and best batting side(look at the averages) but one of the worst captains. If he could not back his attack with 300 runs against the number 8th ranked side in the world on the 5th day of test when is he? I am a New Zealander and we saw the future in the shorter games - AB De Villars, what a difference, positive and got the best out of his players. If you want to be number 1 change your captain

  • on March 27, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    I wud have liked it better if SA had it 2-0..But i wonder why Smith employed Duminy longer and never game as many to Steyn..Well 1-0 is ok,but if SA manage to drop sitters like that they cant claim no.1 from an English side away from home..They have to be better..

  • Spelele on March 27, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    I totally support Smith on this one. It is so easy to criticize his tactics if you've never been a Test captain. SA had already won the series (an AWAY series at that)!. There was consequently no need to chase the game. SA have kept their perfect away record since 2007. There was no need to give NZ a sniff. They would never have gone for it anyways against this SA attack. To declare earlier would only have, at best, displayed arrogance and lack of respect for the opposition. In any event, this draw had less to do with lack of sufficient time to bowl the Kiwis out, but more to do with poor catching. SA had all the opportunities in the world over that 80 or so over period, but simply failed to take them. How is this Smith's fault? This guy deserves more respect from SA fans; he always takes all the flack (even in situations of series victories like this one!). Let's just all enjoy another away series win from the boys folks :)

  • coarsecricketer on March 27, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    What this series has shown, from the South African perspective, is that the public need to be more realistic and more patient when talking about team selection at Test level. Players who have excelled in the past do not suddenly become bad players overnight. Petersen has a couple of low scores, and people are calling for him to be dropped. Morne Morkel takes only a few wickets, and the public wants De Lange to replace him. Now Petersen has secured his place with a magnificent hard-earned 150. As for Morkel: surely it's obvious that he, Steyn, Philander and Kallis work brilliantly together as a fast-bowling unit. The wickets that any one of the four takes at a particular time are just as much due to the relentless pressure applied by the other three as to the performance of the lucky individual who happens to catch the edge or whose deliveries go to hand on the day. Today it was Morkel's turn to get a career-best 6-23, and he thoroughly deserved it.

  • KunzMan on March 27, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Its maybe the reason SA will not be the team of the 90s and early 2000s that the Aussies were. Ruthless! Instead of saying "New Zealand didn't deserve to win... Graeme should ask himself, "Didn't SA deserve more?"

  • Gizza on March 27, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    If New Zealand had not earned the right of possibly tieing the series, then the South Africans also deserved to not win 2-0. The Aus vs NZ two-test rubber was overall domainted by Australia in terms of the stats but the final result was 1-1. Not because of aggressive captaincy in Hobart, just bat batting but the point still remains. For all the talent South Africa have, even with the rain a 1-0 victory feels like a World No 2. performance and not No. 1. Luckily for them there is no real number one team in the world!

  • rahulcricket007 on March 27, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    WELL , WELL AT THE END THE SCORE LINE READS 1-0 WITH TWO TEST DRAWN WHICH IS AN ACTUALLY QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT FOR NZ .

  • sneeky55 on March 27, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    dude smith, your playing against a nation of 4.5 million

  • highveldhillbilly on March 27, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    1-0 a fair reflection? Brendan I think you're dreaming mate. NZ were dominated at least 80% of the time, yes they had a chance or two but you always felt they'd lose. As for the Saffas, they should have won this test but dropped catches costs them in the end. 8 or 9 in the test is unacceptable. Poor Steyn he must feel the cricketing gods are conspiring against him. Weird how SA can't just dominate complete when they should. Still lacking the killer blow...

  • bobbo2 on March 27, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Well done for the draw NZ. I am a loyal fan but I realise we're just not in the same class as SA over 5 days.

    But would like to see more starts converted.

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  • bobbo2 on March 27, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Well done for the draw NZ. I am a loyal fan but I realise we're just not in the same class as SA over 5 days.

    But would like to see more starts converted.

  • highveldhillbilly on March 27, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    1-0 a fair reflection? Brendan I think you're dreaming mate. NZ were dominated at least 80% of the time, yes they had a chance or two but you always felt they'd lose. As for the Saffas, they should have won this test but dropped catches costs them in the end. 8 or 9 in the test is unacceptable. Poor Steyn he must feel the cricketing gods are conspiring against him. Weird how SA can't just dominate complete when they should. Still lacking the killer blow...

  • sneeky55 on March 27, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    dude smith, your playing against a nation of 4.5 million

  • rahulcricket007 on March 27, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    WELL , WELL AT THE END THE SCORE LINE READS 1-0 WITH TWO TEST DRAWN WHICH IS AN ACTUALLY QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT FOR NZ .

  • Gizza on March 27, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    If New Zealand had not earned the right of possibly tieing the series, then the South Africans also deserved to not win 2-0. The Aus vs NZ two-test rubber was overall domainted by Australia in terms of the stats but the final result was 1-1. Not because of aggressive captaincy in Hobart, just bat batting but the point still remains. For all the talent South Africa have, even with the rain a 1-0 victory feels like a World No 2. performance and not No. 1. Luckily for them there is no real number one team in the world!

  • KunzMan on March 27, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Its maybe the reason SA will not be the team of the 90s and early 2000s that the Aussies were. Ruthless! Instead of saying "New Zealand didn't deserve to win... Graeme should ask himself, "Didn't SA deserve more?"

  • coarsecricketer on March 27, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    What this series has shown, from the South African perspective, is that the public need to be more realistic and more patient when talking about team selection at Test level. Players who have excelled in the past do not suddenly become bad players overnight. Petersen has a couple of low scores, and people are calling for him to be dropped. Morne Morkel takes only a few wickets, and the public wants De Lange to replace him. Now Petersen has secured his place with a magnificent hard-earned 150. As for Morkel: surely it's obvious that he, Steyn, Philander and Kallis work brilliantly together as a fast-bowling unit. The wickets that any one of the four takes at a particular time are just as much due to the relentless pressure applied by the other three as to the performance of the lucky individual who happens to catch the edge or whose deliveries go to hand on the day. Today it was Morkel's turn to get a career-best 6-23, and he thoroughly deserved it.

  • Spelele on March 27, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    I totally support Smith on this one. It is so easy to criticize his tactics if you've never been a Test captain. SA had already won the series (an AWAY series at that)!. There was consequently no need to chase the game. SA have kept their perfect away record since 2007. There was no need to give NZ a sniff. They would never have gone for it anyways against this SA attack. To declare earlier would only have, at best, displayed arrogance and lack of respect for the opposition. In any event, this draw had less to do with lack of sufficient time to bowl the Kiwis out, but more to do with poor catching. SA had all the opportunities in the world over that 80 or so over period, but simply failed to take them. How is this Smith's fault? This guy deserves more respect from SA fans; he always takes all the flack (even in situations of series victories like this one!). Let's just all enjoy another away series win from the boys folks :)

  • on March 27, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    I wud have liked it better if SA had it 2-0..But i wonder why Smith employed Duminy longer and never game as many to Steyn..Well 1-0 is ok,but if SA manage to drop sitters like that they cant claim no.1 from an English side away from home..They have to be better..

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    This is exactly why South Africa are not number 1. Look at their side best bowling attack, best all-rounder probably ever and best batting side(look at the averages) but one of the worst captains. If he could not back his attack with 300 runs against the number 8th ranked side in the world on the 5th day of test when is he? I am a New Zealander and we saw the future in the shorter games - AB De Villars, what a difference, positive and got the best out of his players. If you want to be number 1 change your captain