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News

No concerns for Arthur despite defeat

Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, refused to show any concerns over South Africa's performance after his side were easily beaten by the Titans on Sunday

Cricinfo staff
24-Sep-2006


Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, says Graeme Smith is ready to return from his injury © Cricinfo Ltd
Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, refused to show any concerns over South Africa's performance after his side were easily beaten by the Titans on Sunday.
"We have played four matches in seven days and the guys may have been a bit wary out in the field", he said after spending a long time with the squad at the end of play. "We started out with certain plans in mind before these five matches and they are very much coming together. The goals that we have set before leaving for India have been achieved and I am not concerned with the outcome today. It was a lot easier for [the Titans] to be motivated for today than what we were, and they played well. This win will mean a lot to them".
Arthur also dismissed concerns about the little niggling injuries affecting the squad. "Graeme Smith is just about 100% fit and he could have batted today, but we decided to give him as much rest as possible," he said. "He will play in the first warm-up match in India. Herschelle Gibbs is almost fit as well and he may play this weekend in the opening domestic matches. The same goes for Charl Langeveldt who was replaced by Andre Nel for today. Loots Bosman could not field as he has an injured shoulder and Andrew (Hall) was not feeling well so we did not use him in the death overs."
The South African fourth seamer seems to have been a problem in the past few matches but again Arthur is not concerned. "We have selection options that are open to us as we are lucky to have players that can be used in various combinations. Robin Petersen has improved in every match and bowled well today. We have got him bowling a bit quicker and keeping it wicket-to-wicket".
Arthur however agrees that the only concern is the South African over-rate. "We keep a close eye on it and are in constant contact with the third umpire," he said. "We are still cutting it a bit close and I would hate to lose the captain in a match ban for something like this. Graeme already has a ICC warning hanging over his head. We talk a lot about it, we keep tabs on it, but we still seem to be pushing the limits".
With the one-day domestic season starting this weekend, Arthur has released those who are fit enough to play for some additional match practise before flying out to India in two weeks time.