Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day October 17, 2013

Disappointed Smith promises to bounce back

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Graeme Smith has not worn the look he had on today for 22 months and 15 Tests - the span between losing the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and their last defeat, to Sri Lanka in December 2011.

In its time away, the expression has grown considerably more tortured. His usual blue eyes become a shade at least five times darker, his mouth remains pursed, as though it is frowning the way a brow does and his jaw, appears more square than ever, jutting out aggressively, ready to protect and defend.

South Africa have not lost an away Test since Kolkata 2010, and the statistics from 2006 onward show them to be the best travelling team - with a win-loss ratio of 2.14. One defeat cannot erase that, but it has put a stain on otherwise clean sheet and that reality stings.

"It should hurt," Smith said. "But this team has too much ability to make this a habit. This is sport, you do lose and it's natural. We're extremely disappointed. We haven't been in this position too often. And with the standards that we set ourselves, we should have the ability to bounce back."

Smith is already thinking about the next match, perhaps because he wants to forget the out-of-sorts way South Africa performed in this one. After choosing to bat, they were bowled out for less than 250 and their bowlers could not adjust their lengths in time to suit the pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, often bowling shorter than required.

South Africa lost their last six wickets for 50 in the first innings but they've been known to respond tenaciously even after lapses with the bat. This time, a refusal to bowl a fuller length meant "we didn't start as well with the new ball," as Smith admitted. With Pakistan registering their first century stand in more than 18 months, South Africa were out of the game before they could bat a second time.

"From a skill perspective Pakistan were better than us over a period of time and we have to be honest about that," Smith said. "The first innings was where we were put under pressure. Irfan bowled really well upfront but we fought hard to get into a good position and then we collapsed. If we'd pushed on to over 300, 350, we could have given ourselves a chance."

South Africa's second essay didn't turn too many heads either. But having been bowled out for 232 - which meant Pakistan needed only 40 runs to win - the way their bowlers approached defending a small target was encouraging for Smith.

Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander found a fuller length straight away and took three wickets in Pakistan's first four overs. "It was bittersweet because it made us think if we have 150 or 200 runs, we could have had a chance. But we were better with the new ball. That's a big step in the right direction."

That South Africa took almost four days to adjust could be seen as an indication they were underprepared for the conditions. They have not played Test cricket since February and their only opportunity to acclimatise was a lone warm-up game. Some of their players like Smith and Jacques Kallis were recovering from injury or enjoying time off to leave them individually short of match practice as well.

Smith would not concede on that front, insisting the team had done enough. "We maximised the preparation time we had," he said. "It's always very difficult to replicate Tests but we worked extremely hard in training.

"There wasn't a lot of time either. Maybe we could have played two two-day games but you also need preparation time to get to the ground you are going to be playing at and that sort of thing. The strength of this team has been the ability to maximise preparation time. This time, we've been outplayed and you have to look at that."

In an effort to polish their skills, South Africa will hold an optional training session tomorrow, before travelling to Dubai on Saturday and will be back at work on Sunday.

"We have to make sure we are not too emotional and that we have clever plans. We need to have good cricket discussions in terms of planning, tactics and skills," Smith said. "The motivation is there. We are really motivated to win the next Test match. That's got to be our ultimate goal. We have to focus on making sure our plans are better. We are one down and haven't played to our potential. I have no doubt we have a team that can come back and square the series."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | October 18, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    The lack of a quality spinner is going to hurt SA more as the series goes on. Steyn and Philander are great when the new ball is moving about, but once the shine is off they are neutralized. Morkel doesn't look in good form at all and Peterson and Duminy aren't test-class spinners.

    Give Ajmal and Babar a turning wicket and SA are in trouble. Just ask England.

  • POSTED BY CharlesCrasto on | October 18, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Posted by Ask Ask on (October 17, 2013, 23:54 GMT) Moonda Sahab iss ko kioun upset kehte hain?

    Maybe you could rephrase that to 'Moonda Sahiba", buddy?

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Pakistan will defeat SA in 2nd test as well, because Pakistan has a more balanced bowling attack. Dubai pitch takes more Spin and they are bouncier, I believe SA will not be able to handle that. Pakistan Batting is lot more confident than what they were before the series.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 18, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @highveldhilbilly - I totally agree with what you say.

    @ZCFOutkast - Tsotsobe, Tsolekile, Pangiso, Gqamane are the players you are putting forward. I see where you are going with this.

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    If Amla does not return in time, that means AB has to carry the weight of the batting order. Asking him to keep wicket too is a tall order. I don't think Tsolekile is the best keeper we have in SA, but he is the one on tour and I feel that he should play purely so that AB can focus solely on batting. That will allow for longer breaks in the field for AB and ultimately a fresher perspective when it's time to bat. Sacrificing a batsman (in this case, likely an out-of-sorts Elgar) for a half-and-half keeper just so that AB can focus on batting is worth it.

    Smith(c), Petersen, Faf, Kallis, AB, Duminy, Tsolekile(wk), Philander, Steyn, Tahir, Morkel. :)

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | October 18, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    @highveldhillbilly, I don't know what on earth you're talking about. First of all this is Test cricket we're talking about, & the last time I checked, Gqamane hasn't represented our FC A side yet. When SL was here last time around and he was in top form, Aya was left out(seemingly deliberately) for a limping Parnell who stunk in that match.

    Secondly, against Aus A our seam attacked flopped horribly in the first game, but instead of playing him they were all given a second chance at Gqamane's expense, and naturally they redeemed themselves. Like Parnell, Marchant should not have played ahead of Aya and they both broke down afterwards!

    Finally, when India A came down he was again ignored! Bottomline is if Ayabulela Gqamane read Andrew Goldstone he would've played in one of those FC matches. Even when he played the ListA games he came in at third change!! Why on earth do you think Arendse spoke of being bowled/batted less/lower as one of the drivers for that "unspoken" policy change!?

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | October 18, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    South Africa biffed England 0-2 at home.....that is why this thrashing by Pakistan is profoundly satisfying for me....

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | October 18, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Every cricketing side now knows how to become number one in the test rankings. Just don't play in unfamiliar foreign conditions. India got found out, then England got found out, then Australia and now South Africa are getting found out. South Africa haven't won a subcontinent series for a few years now and the reality is that they haven't played in many of these series. Interestingly the dominant West Indies era also struggled to win series in the subcontinent - a lot of drawn series against India and Pakistan away

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    You cant expect a single batsman like Amla or AB to carry the whole innings As a Proteas supporter, I am really disappointed about this performance Though the 2nd innings bowling was brillian t

  • POSTED BY highveldhillbilly on | October 18, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast - Phangiso has a terrible first class record with an average of 35.39 and that includes playing in the lesser league games, he is a limited overs bowler not a test bowler. Gqamane form has fallen away badly in past couple of months - India A thumped him badly and since then it's just gotten worse. Hendricks is a much better prospect. What exactly has Alviro done since scoring a century in England last year, I can't remember one good innings since then?

    We lost because:

    We played RP as a spinner - can't take wickets or tie up an end Kallis, Smith look very under done Bowlers bowled a terrible length - insist on bowling short - crazy stupid 4 of our batsmen failed in both innings - Kallis, Faf, Smith and Alviro

    What has happened to Faf he looks awful?

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | October 18, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    The lack of a quality spinner is going to hurt SA more as the series goes on. Steyn and Philander are great when the new ball is moving about, but once the shine is off they are neutralized. Morkel doesn't look in good form at all and Peterson and Duminy aren't test-class spinners.

    Give Ajmal and Babar a turning wicket and SA are in trouble. Just ask England.

  • POSTED BY CharlesCrasto on | October 18, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Posted by Ask Ask on (October 17, 2013, 23:54 GMT) Moonda Sahab iss ko kioun upset kehte hain?

    Maybe you could rephrase that to 'Moonda Sahiba", buddy?

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Pakistan will defeat SA in 2nd test as well, because Pakistan has a more balanced bowling attack. Dubai pitch takes more Spin and they are bouncier, I believe SA will not be able to handle that. Pakistan Batting is lot more confident than what they were before the series.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 18, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @highveldhilbilly - I totally agree with what you say.

    @ZCFOutkast - Tsotsobe, Tsolekile, Pangiso, Gqamane are the players you are putting forward. I see where you are going with this.

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    If Amla does not return in time, that means AB has to carry the weight of the batting order. Asking him to keep wicket too is a tall order. I don't think Tsolekile is the best keeper we have in SA, but he is the one on tour and I feel that he should play purely so that AB can focus solely on batting. That will allow for longer breaks in the field for AB and ultimately a fresher perspective when it's time to bat. Sacrificing a batsman (in this case, likely an out-of-sorts Elgar) for a half-and-half keeper just so that AB can focus on batting is worth it.

    Smith(c), Petersen, Faf, Kallis, AB, Duminy, Tsolekile(wk), Philander, Steyn, Tahir, Morkel. :)

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | October 18, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    @highveldhillbilly, I don't know what on earth you're talking about. First of all this is Test cricket we're talking about, & the last time I checked, Gqamane hasn't represented our FC A side yet. When SL was here last time around and he was in top form, Aya was left out(seemingly deliberately) for a limping Parnell who stunk in that match.

    Secondly, against Aus A our seam attacked flopped horribly in the first game, but instead of playing him they were all given a second chance at Gqamane's expense, and naturally they redeemed themselves. Like Parnell, Marchant should not have played ahead of Aya and they both broke down afterwards!

    Finally, when India A came down he was again ignored! Bottomline is if Ayabulela Gqamane read Andrew Goldstone he would've played in one of those FC matches. Even when he played the ListA games he came in at third change!! Why on earth do you think Arendse spoke of being bowled/batted less/lower as one of the drivers for that "unspoken" policy change!?

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | October 18, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    South Africa biffed England 0-2 at home.....that is why this thrashing by Pakistan is profoundly satisfying for me....

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | October 18, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Every cricketing side now knows how to become number one in the test rankings. Just don't play in unfamiliar foreign conditions. India got found out, then England got found out, then Australia and now South Africa are getting found out. South Africa haven't won a subcontinent series for a few years now and the reality is that they haven't played in many of these series. Interestingly the dominant West Indies era also struggled to win series in the subcontinent - a lot of drawn series against India and Pakistan away

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    You cant expect a single batsman like Amla or AB to carry the whole innings As a Proteas supporter, I am really disappointed about this performance Though the 2nd innings bowling was brillian t

  • POSTED BY highveldhillbilly on | October 18, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast - Phangiso has a terrible first class record with an average of 35.39 and that includes playing in the lesser league games, he is a limited overs bowler not a test bowler. Gqamane form has fallen away badly in past couple of months - India A thumped him badly and since then it's just gotten worse. Hendricks is a much better prospect. What exactly has Alviro done since scoring a century in England last year, I can't remember one good innings since then?

    We lost because:

    We played RP as a spinner - can't take wickets or tie up an end Kallis, Smith look very under done Bowlers bowled a terrible length - insist on bowling short - crazy stupid 4 of our batsmen failed in both innings - Kallis, Faf, Smith and Alviro

    What has happened to Faf he looks awful?

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | October 18, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    The last three wickets were not due to good bowling but it was due to pressure of small target and Pakistan is expert in messing up the small chase. In SA Geoffrey Boycott predicted Pakistan batting vs South Africa bowling. Here its different and SA has to survive.

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Don't be too harsh on South Africa. A loss is always disappointing from a supporters' viewpoint, but Pakistan deserves due credit for wrangling the South Africans for 4 consecutive days. Pakistan thoroughly deserved to win this test. The next test is going to be fascinating. The South African team is hurt and has a point to prove. Pakistan on the other hand would love to continue their winning streak. All the right ingredients for an explosive test match.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | October 18, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    There! I fixed it for you Nixon! alviro(c), elgar, amla, ab, kallis, duminy, tsolekile(wk), philander, steyn, tsotsobe, phangiso

    I find it rather silly that people thought Boje, Harris, Henderson, Botha, now Peterson&Tahir are good enough for the Proteas, even though they've all got hammered and proved toothless for the most part, yet you are able to find reasons to shut Phangiso out. No, he must play!!! We've seen enough mediocrity from Peterson&Tahir as it is. I firmly believe he won't leak as much.

    Parnell will fetch heavily! Wait for Gqamane to mature and fill that role (if only the Warriors&SA XI would stop deliberately bowling him at 2nd+ change and hand him the new ball, plus bat him higher up). Stick to Tsolekile, the key is to relieve AB so he can keep. Smith is the hindrance to the transformation of that side. Past his sell-by date in my view. Alviro will come right - as batsman, plus I find him to be a far more intelligent cricketer than Graeme.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | October 18, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    If SouthAfricaare without Amla,then I think AB is going to have to carry their innings with a dogged performance from Kallis. Pakistan should be encouraged that they didn't let South Africa's tail get out of control like the have done in the past.

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    by losing one game sa might lose 6/7 rating points but if they lose da last match then 12/14 points would be lost...still they can stay as no.1 but pak will come forward near to ind/eng in the ranking

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | October 18, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    When SA started slowly in previous series there was plenty of criticism of Gary Kirsten. So why no criticism of Domingo? Since he took over he went to Sri Lanka with the ODI team and they were terribly underprepared, improving as the tour went on. Now it has happened again. And before the game even started he mentioned selecting Peterson over Tahir which many of us here said was a mistake - Tahir can at least take wickets.

    It's time Domingo faced the music, no surprise that things are going downhill with this approach.

  • POSTED BY Warm_Coffee on | October 18, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    haha Jacques Kallis lost his number 1 all-round position. Only plays more game than anybody else..

  • POSTED BY Changeup on | October 18, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Besides selectioons the caoching needs a lot of work. The over reliance on short ball is ridiculous. Every game I have watched it is the same thing. Watch the line and length of other teams and get it right. Time to get rid of Donald. It needs some one up to date with current trends

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | October 18, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Great to see Pakistan in winning form. Hope they can sustain the momentum.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 18, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Kallis will have to start producing, he hasnt done anything lately, his average keeps dropping same with smith.

    @ ZCF OUTKAST, phangiso got hammered in the recent Champions trophy in India, and why do you want to leave smith out, he is our captain! You obviously dont know anything about cricket. I do agree with you on dropping duplessis, he is useless. Also assuming that tsolekili will score tons of runs is a mistake, the guy can bat, but not good enough, I would rather go with an allrounder at 7 and also drop robbie, agree with you that he does not add anything to the team, extremely overrated.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 18, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    smith, elgar, amla, kallis, de villiers, duminy, parnell, philander, steyn, morkel, tahir. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | October 18, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Don't be disappointed Smithy. You're a huge reason for this loss. Weren't brave enough to drop yourself, let Elgar open in your place, bring in an inform Tsolekile to keep wicket, while de Plessis faffs off, so AB can just focus on batting. He was very fortunate to come close to getting a hundred. Phangiso would've done a far better containing job than Robbie, and got a few while he was at it! What good is his occasional low order batting if he gives up 100+ runs at over 4rpo for no reward? His only consolation is that it's much better than his reserve spinner Tahir of course, which is nothing to write home about!

  • POSTED BY hamza893 on | October 18, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    What would happen if Muhammad Amir gets back to International Cricket again ????? waiting to seee him back.

  • POSTED BY hamza893 on | October 18, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Forget about levelling the series ,Pakistan will wrap up this series 2-0 ,whitewashing SA. The fact is Pakistan has never lost a Test match at Dubai winning 3 out of 4 and 1 draw.Dubai pitch will be most favourable for spinners .I wish Pak selectors play smart and add Abdul Rehman instead of Azhar Ali .This will definetely put great pressure on SA due to five specialist bowlers. Best Wishes for Pakistan !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    I think SA were defensive by selecting Robin Peterson for this match, Imran Tahir would have been more attacking option, even if he had gone for more runs, he would have bought more wickets. By selecting Peterson, Smith tried to extend his batting line up somehow. However if SA does not get a genuine match winning spinner soon, they will have difficulty in retaining the number one position in tests especially in sub continental conditions. They over rely on their fast bowlers dismissing the opposition cheaply in first innings and then Amla, Kallis and Devillers mounting the runs to extend their lead, if match goes into 4th innings, it becomes difficult for SA to win.

  • POSTED BY on | October 18, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    @ask ask...Firdose moonda is a woman i.e. sahiba not sahab. secondly, pakistan, as far as tests go, are an abysmal outfit most of the time. So yes, defeating the number 1 ranked team would be classified as an upset, specially on the back of the Zimbabwe humiliation

  • POSTED BY fozybear on | October 18, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    for the 2nd test, Pakistan should bring in Fawad Alam to replace Azhar Ali. Fawad is probably the best batsman and fielder in Pakistan currently, his only drawback is that he hails from Karachi and is subject to discrimination within his own country. If he starts performing consistently at international level, the Lahore based cricket administration of Pakistan will find it hard to drop him, and thus they would not allow him to perform at international level.

    It is time these discrimination from Pakistan cricket team are abolished. Discrimination should be treated the same as betting in Cricket

  • POSTED BY browners76 on | October 17, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    Puts into perspective England's travails over there two winters ago. SA were demolished and Pak didn't have Rehman at their disposal. England's quicks bowled way better than the South Africans. The next test will tell us more, will SA bounce back. It's a very hard place to go and win now, the conditions seem to suit Pakistan's style of play. The mind boggles to think if Pakistan had Asif and Amir taking the new ball.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Its not upset at all Pakistan have beaten them in high pressure games again and again. Pakistan is equally better team stop calling it Upset ...come on. Moonda Sahab iss ko kioun upset kehte hain?

  • POSTED BY tahalateef on | October 17, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    While Kallis may retire soon, I do wish that Smith goes on score 10,000 plus runs.

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | October 17, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Coming from an Aussie, you never write off Pakistan. They can do anything on their day. Smith was spot on. His bowlers with such a long time off weren't bowling in the right areas and when they bowled fuller in the 2nd innings were very good. What he won't say though was that Petersen was a liability. He really shouldn't have kept bowling him. Congrats to Pakistan. Their bowling was better, Irfan was outstanding and the application shown by Misbah and Manzoor capitalised on the lack of practice from South Africa. This game was Pakistan's best chance to beat South Africa and they took the opportunity. When you have two of the future best ever fast bowlers in Philander and Steyn, you can bet your boots on it that South Africa will bounce back. What was interesting was that SA had the best (Phil) and 3rd best (Steyn) performing bowler in the match, but still lost! It shows how badly Morkel, Petersen and Kallis bowled and how important a good team performance is!

  • POSTED BY anserazim on | October 17, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    A genuine all rounder is missing in the Pakistani eleven, a good spinner or good pace bowler ....they r not going to win with four bowler combination unless the pitch is a big turner for the spinners!!!!

  • POSTED BY Riverwalk on | October 17, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    The SA top order is simply not good enough and hasn't been for some time which is why they play a 7th specialist batter but that doesn't always work either. Previously the lower order all rounders have got them out of jail but not this time especially against quality spin bowling in Asia / Middle East. Although there are no obvious contenders (Elgar hasn't looked much better when given a chance) SA must bring in some new blood very soon. Smith and Kallis are on their last legs and not convinced Alviro or Du Plessis are worthy of a place either.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | October 17, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    It all comes down to openers, when Pak Openers replied with a century stand and Khurram carried his bat through first day I knew Pakistan will win. Having weak and brittle openers for ages has hurt Pakistan. Keep an eye open for Azhar and Younis Khan if they are not up to the mark Ahmed Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed should be given a chance. Being bold and carving your own future is the order of the day. Giving chances from a talented pool of players does not mean closing the doors on any player it merely makes the competition a bit tougher and allows the team to find its settled eleven. Pakistan should make a rule of five , if a top order player is unable to play a substantial knock in five innings he should be replaced and another player given a chance. Make your own rules and your own destiny and don't look at the other teams what they are doing.

  • POSTED BY Master_uv_Puppetz on | October 17, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    I recon the next match would be very interesting. I feel our boys will do everything in their capacity to hand Styen & Phillander early wickets. The way the 3 second innings fell would give a huge hope to SA.

    Lets see :)

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | October 17, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    i am not sure why it is all about SA, Pakistan were outplayed in SA and not SA is outplayed by Pakistan, the margin is too big to call it upset, If Pakistan batted sensibly in 2nd test in SA they could have beaten SA in SA and series could be different, Pakistan have learned their lesson from that defeat and played positively and scored runs not blocking balls against Steyn and Company, SA was very poor against Aussies earlier this year they were very lucky not loosing first two tests, so it is not true that they have achieved the status of WI and Aussies era. Smith and Kallis will not be around much more, i would like to see how SA will perform outside SA without these guys. Give some cricket to Pakistan team with no Board and have to play so little cricket and away from home all the time and still perform at high level is remarkable. This is not home series from Pakistan either as most players do not play in these conditions at home.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 17, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    It was difficult for pak to beat them but now when they know the taste of success I am sure they will be trying harder than the SA team. Pak team must be thinking if we can do it once, we an do it twice.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    If they play too much cricket then they don't perform well and also get injured and if they don't play cricket for few months then they get rusty. What else they do? Just playing cricket all the time.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    All the best to Smith & his team

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    If south Africa is to perform well in the next match then Imran Tahir must be in the playing eleven...... Faf du Plesis can be replaced...... I think the extreme heat in UAE is also behind their fatigue and failure but i m willing to see a much better show from Smith's side...... good luck.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    'not played Test cricket since February'

    Personally, I knew it would take the guys a while to find their form. Not worried. Yet. But disappointing performances from Kallis and Smith esp.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    The weak links are too many- Philander, Morkel , Kallis and Robertson.Except Steyn all the others are dependent on conditions. Philander , Morkel and Kallis, once the shine wears off become just up and down bowlers. Robertson would not make it to even a state team in India, as a specialist spinner/bowler. However, he looks technically more well equipped than the likes of Smith when it comes to batting!!! There is a lesson to be learnt for the young Indian side due to tour SA- dent the new ball for about 20-30 overs and you can expect good results.I doubt whether the South Africans would play their so called spinners against India.

  • POSTED BY Adolfo on | October 17, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Is difficult to see our team losing but we can not win all the time, I agree must players look rusty but no excuses Pakistan played better cricket. Next match will be different. Go SA

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | October 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    These are some noble words from Graeme Smith but I doubt SA will bounce back primarily due to absence of Amla and the pitch in Dubai is more suitable to spin that Abu Dhabi's which is flat. Sorry mate.

  • POSTED BY Arthaurian on | October 17, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Like. We were actually never in this game. 5 days we did nothing. No runs. No wickets. Hard pill to swallow

  • POSTED BY Ab_marri on | October 17, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    its a real panic and painful for a leading number # 1 test captain....Biff we all behind you buddy u guys can do it easily...Love u Proteas....best of luck for Dubai test.

  • POSTED BY WaqarIMC on | October 17, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    I hope after watched todays batting display of Manzoor and Shan .....many people review their premature views about mentioned batsmen........ Lets see in next match.........

  • POSTED BY hoodbu on | October 17, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Who is the bowler in the picture? It doesn't look like Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Duminy, or Peterson.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Becoming No. 1 and getting a beating in the Middle Est (at the hands of Team Green) the following year.... sounds too familiar ;-) Anyway, stupendous performance by Team Green, knocking out World's No. 1 (Test) cricket side.

    P.S. That chops off some rating points for SA... ENGLAND has an Asian ally :-)

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Sans Amla, that will be difficult. Pick Elgar (he'll give some left arm spin) and Imran Tahir for Robbie P. Use him sparingly but judiciously. He can get crucial wickets unlike Robbie. Use Duminy too, but mostly feel the hurt now, so as to retaliate in the measured way required.

  • POSTED BY Mohsinnn on | October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I understand the]is piece has to be from a South African perspective but why is it a bit condescending as well as excuse-driven? You end up making this South African team a work of myth which it is not and it is just as fallible as other team. It rarely finds a worthy opponent though.As good as this team is, there is plenty of arrogance which doesn't bode well with the general perception of team.Maybe the team is not so arrogant as its supporters in the media.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    What happened is that SA didn't expect Pakistan to be so disciplined in every aspect of the game. The worrying sign for SA is that this pitch was not a square turner infact it was a flat pitch in which they could not score 250. In Dubai it is going to be totally different wicket. It will turn a lot more and will be a slow one. With their pace attack it will help Pakistan batsmen actually. And SA don't have quality spinner. They have to score a huge total in order to win, which won't be a walk in the park and specially their best batsman Hashim Amla due to miss the next test. Pakistan are huge favorites to clean sweep.

  • POSTED BY BowledYa on | October 17, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Nice and encouraging words from the skipper. SA are certainly the #1 team based on their winning record. Having said that I do believe the fact of playing in Pakistan's conditions and the ease with which Pakistan won inside 4 days has to be weighing on SA team and a comeback win is going to be an uphill task mentally and skillwise. Looking forward to test #2 and a 2-0 win for Pak.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    I think as Waqar said SA were too carried away.It's happens when you're on the top for so long.If they want to continue that position though they must be at their best every time

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    I think as Waqar said SA were too carried away.It's happens when you're on the top for so long.If they want to continue that position though they must be at their best every time

  • POSTED BY BowledYa on | October 17, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Nice and encouraging words from the skipper. SA are certainly the #1 team based on their winning record. Having said that I do believe the fact of playing in Pakistan's conditions and the ease with which Pakistan won inside 4 days has to be weighing on SA team and a comeback win is going to be an uphill task mentally and skillwise. Looking forward to test #2 and a 2-0 win for Pak.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    What happened is that SA didn't expect Pakistan to be so disciplined in every aspect of the game. The worrying sign for SA is that this pitch was not a square turner infact it was a flat pitch in which they could not score 250. In Dubai it is going to be totally different wicket. It will turn a lot more and will be a slow one. With their pace attack it will help Pakistan batsmen actually. And SA don't have quality spinner. They have to score a huge total in order to win, which won't be a walk in the park and specially their best batsman Hashim Amla due to miss the next test. Pakistan are huge favorites to clean sweep.

  • POSTED BY Mohsinnn on | October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I understand the]is piece has to be from a South African perspective but why is it a bit condescending as well as excuse-driven? You end up making this South African team a work of myth which it is not and it is just as fallible as other team. It rarely finds a worthy opponent though.As good as this team is, there is plenty of arrogance which doesn't bode well with the general perception of team.Maybe the team is not so arrogant as its supporters in the media.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Sans Amla, that will be difficult. Pick Elgar (he'll give some left arm spin) and Imran Tahir for Robbie P. Use him sparingly but judiciously. He can get crucial wickets unlike Robbie. Use Duminy too, but mostly feel the hurt now, so as to retaliate in the measured way required.

  • POSTED BY on | October 17, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Becoming No. 1 and getting a beating in the Middle Est (at the hands of Team Green) the following year.... sounds too familiar ;-) Anyway, stupendous performance by Team Green, knocking out World's No. 1 (Test) cricket side.

    P.S. That chops off some rating points for SA... ENGLAND has an Asian ally :-)

  • POSTED BY hoodbu on | October 17, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Who is the bowler in the picture? It doesn't look like Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Duminy, or Peterson.

  • POSTED BY WaqarIMC on | October 17, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    I hope after watched todays batting display of Manzoor and Shan .....many people review their premature views about mentioned batsmen........ Lets see in next match.........

  • POSTED BY Ab_marri on | October 17, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    its a real panic and painful for a leading number # 1 test captain....Biff we all behind you buddy u guys can do it easily...Love u Proteas....best of luck for Dubai test.

  • POSTED BY Arthaurian on | October 17, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Like. We were actually never in this game. 5 days we did nothing. No runs. No wickets. Hard pill to swallow