West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados, 4th day June 29, 2010

'It's been a terrific series' - Graeme Smith

Cricinfo staff

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, hailed his team's unbeaten bilateral tour of West Indies as "terrific" and said the side had bounced back superbly following defeat in the Super Eights in the World Twenty20. South Africa had completed a clean sweep of the Twenty20 and ODI series on the tour, and wrapped up the Tests 2-0 with a seven-wicket win in Barbados.

"It's been a terrific series for us," Smith said. "We can't hide away from the disappointment we experienced in the World Twenty20. We've asked each other to step it up, make sure that happens in every training session, and we performed to the best of our ability."

Smith also praised the duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, who shared 29 wickets in the Test series, and said his role as captain included managing them efficiently. "They are an important part of the Test line-up, the firepower they bring and their wicket-taking ability is crucial for our success," he said. "As a captain it's about balancing, how much you really want to use them and getting the most out of it. Especially in this heat and these types of conditions, it's about ensuring each bowler is effective and that they're trying to achieve something. That's the goal for me as a captain."

Steyn was Man of the Series for his 15 wickets at 18.13, including six in the final Test. He said he received excellent support from Morkel and was handled well by Smith. "Morne's been fantastic. Over the last two series, especially against England, he really came out of his shell and bowled fantastically," Steyn said. "I'm just glad that there's another guy who's striking well.

"I've been on the road for five months now so I'm really looking forward to going home, but with the extra spinner Graeme Smith has rotated us well fantastically, keeping the fast bowlers fresh and brought us on when he needed to strike."

Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, said his team had been let down by poor batting and injuries prior to the game. West Indies, who lost allrounder Darren Sammy and fast bowler Nelon Pascal ahead of the Test, were bowled out for 231 and 161 in conditions Gayle described as "perfect" for batting.

"We were on the back foot at the end of the first innings after being bowled out for 231," Gayle said. "Based on their [batsmen] performance in the last game, I thought they would play decently here but that did not happen. A few injuries here and there didn't help us either."

Gayle, however, hoped things would turn for the better with some younger players coming through and the return of seniors, like Ramnaresh Sarwan. "You've got the High Performance Centre here and hopefully some youngsters come out of that," Gayle said. "There have been a couple of niggling injuries and we hope we can have the senior guys back. But overall a disappointing series, and disappointing the way we went about it."

Gayle admitted captaincy in such circumstances was proving a difficult job. "It's tough as captain to be honest with you," he said. "Sometimes when you actually think you're getting the support of a particular person…but there comes a time when you're not actually going to get that kind of support. It's something I've got to deal with and clear the air, and I'll take it from there."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ragamuffintuffy on July 2, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Caribbean people N wi cricket fans - we dont need to drop CG from the side as some stewpid idiots r saying; Chris happens to b the dominant batsman on wi team. Wouldnt take anything away from fellow Gtea, Chanders (as the trinis n small islands call him); he is the most consistent n reliable batsman on wi team. What we have to do with Chris is try to augment n enhance his leadership qualities, that's all, man. I dont think there's anyone else on the team to lead wi. Sarwan doesnt want it. Bravo/Sammy? me na know! Maybe, wi will finally get off our batty n start this wi academy. TnT has the money, let them finance. By the way, if Sir Allen had 5 more years in wi cricket, things would b far more different. DGanga n a Francis Joaquim would back on this.

  • diri on July 1, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    westindies please do cricket a favour and drop gale. he is not a captain or good enough cricketer. the only thing he does is cry

  • dummy4fb on July 1, 2010, 1:10 GMT

    Since Haynes and Greenidge, WI selectors have played slip shod with the selection of openers - experimenting with non-openers. The latest was Dowlin, a middle order batsman! What has happened to X. Marshall and Simmons? It's almost criminal to dump them although they the potential. Are we spending time to help these players? It's time for WI to identify a few players in whom they will invest money and time to develop. Also they have boxed in Kerion Pollard as a one day player the same way they did to another, Ricardo Powell. Pollard (23), Simmons (25), Marshall (24) are young and need specialist guidance to develop. I hope the great crop of A-team and Under-19 don't suffer the same fate as the past. Revamp the WI Board and have a balance of at least half former players. The other Boards around the world benefit from their input and experience of their former players. Unfortunately we have a culture of short term thinking, pride and selfishness instead of maximizing our resources.

  • everfaithful77 on July 1, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    GAYLE speaks as though it is only the other players to be blamed for the poor performance of WI when infact he is a huge part of the problem. As the leader his decisions on and off the field greatly impacts the overall team effort. How he utilise bowlers, field placings and tactics generally. He obviously did not measure up in any of these areas including his role as opening batsman, unlike his counterpart Graham Smith. Is Gayle man enough to admit that he has failed as captain and do the honourable thing ie tender his RESGNATION ? The COACH cannot be happy either. Constantly changing the batting order in ODI's is not a wise tactic as it undermines confidence and unsettles the batsmen; top teams rarely do that. An assistant ( batting) coach with the stature and ability of eg. Lara or Haynes should be a priority but the coach needs to work harder on his pace bowlers and FIELDING. The SELECTORS have made a mess: recycling failures, failing to blood talented young players. They must GO.

  • Metman on June 30, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    To all you Harris admirers,just as I had predicted!nothing more than a mediocre club bowler.I TOLD YOU SO!He is far farrrr behind Botha.I am a west indian and I would like to know if Harris plays for the same club as Smith?If he does,and I will check their profiles later,we can all see why he is the first choice for the tests.Look! as far as I am concerned,he should not even be the reserve for the reserve test team.Go play club cricket Harris,you are not test material.

  • diri on June 30, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    maybe we shouldnt be so hard on gale and the windies. yes they were an embarresment but you also got to remember they were playing against the best team in the world.....smith, kallis, AB, prince, steyn, morkel....most teams would struggle to beat this SA side

  • dummy4fb on June 30, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    i guess sarwan will be fit as fiddle now that south africa will be leaving.

  • dummy4fb on June 30, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    I really don't understand this 'fad' of giving importance to Twenty20 as a measure of skill or sustainable temperament. Of all the things Twenty20 tests in a batsman, it is Hand-Eye co-ordination. I hope the cricketing world wakes up and gives lesser importance to the nonsense that is T20.

  • dummy4fb on June 30, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    christopher gayle should give up the captaincy and focus more on being an opening batsman and maybe he will score more runs more freely and frequently and if he deteriorates and his average plumates then he should be dropped completely from the team and give the captaincy to a young player with new ideas and skills.....

  • dummy4fb on June 29, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Chris Gayle, Julian Hunte and the selection committee must GO. Really, no-one in the Caribbean is interested in following a sport that should now be in the Crematorium. Get rid of the lot, they have successfully destroyed a wonderful sport.

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