Graeme Smith confident despite Mickey Arthur exit

Graeme Smith believes his side has the record and experience to impress in India, despite a tumultuous week the team, where coach Mickey Arthur resigned and the selection panel was fired

Cricinfo staff
Mickey Arthur and Graeme Smith during the Cricket South Africa press conference, East London, January 27, 2010

South Africa will be without Mickey Arthur for the first time since May 2005  •  Getty Images

Graeme Smith believes his side has the record and experience to impress in India, despite an 'emotional' week for the team, during which coach Mickey Arthur resigned and the entire selection panel was sacked.
South Africa leave on January 30 for a two-Test and three-ODI tour of India, the world's No.1 ranked side in Tests, in the knowledge that they drew 1-1 the last time they visited India and were beaten 1-0 in 2004. A 2-0 win this time will propel them to the No.1 spot.
Smith wants his side to draw on these good memories when the tour gets underway. "It's been an emotional week and not many teams go to India and win," Smith said. "But our record in the subcontinent is solid and the players who have been part of the set-up for a while have dealt with a few difficult things in recent years and handled them very well. I expect them to be as professional as normal, and I'm looking to them for responsibility and guidance for the youth."
Corrie van Zyl, who was an assistant coach between 1998 and 2003, has replaced Arthur on an interim basis and he is confident that the team can overcome the sudden change of regime. "My experience of things like the last week is that it builds a team rather than tears it apart," van Zyl said. "I was part of the management team when the Hansie Cronje issue came about and sometimes those things just pull a team together. Obviously the players have to deal with their emotions, but it's a very important series and we need to focus on our preparations."
South Africa play a two-day warm-up match against Board President's XI in Nagpur starting February 2 before the first Test on February 6.