Smith unbothered by mind games

Sportal November 8, 2012, 9:39 pm
Graeme Smith

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As Australia's plans for the Test series against South Africa spill out into the public domain, an unflustered Graeme Smith has warned the Proteas' motivation levels have only heightened.

And on the matter of how much sensitive information South Africa have on Australia in return, Smith said: "We try to keep it in the guys' heads as much as possible so dossiers aren't left lying around."

The mind games ahead of the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane which starts on Friday are well and truly in full swing.

However, the leaking of the secret document from the Australian camp that outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the touring side and advises short-pitched bowling and sledging hold the key to a baggy green victory may well backfire.

Instead of getting under the skin of the Proteas, the dossier, which was published in News Limited papers on Thursday, has only served to prod the world's best Test nation.

The suggestion earlier this week from Australia coach Mickey Arthur that Dale Steyn will struggle against a left-hander-dominated top order hasn't helped either.

South Africa is in town with their chests puffed out and Smith said the team was determined to let their cricket do the talking.

"Certainly the stuff that happens in the papers, maybe things Mickey has said have only added motivation to us. That has touched the motivation springs for us even more," he said.

"To come to Australia with a formidable side and know that you can compete over here and in the cut and thrust of playing and performing over here, is a nice feeling to have."

Asked if he'd be disappointed if he were dismissed lbw which is what the dossier pinpointed as the best way to remove him Smith said: "It won't be the first time and probably not the last time.

"I haven't really read it myself, but the things I've heard is nothing that we didn't expect. All of us have played enough against Australia and we know what it's going to take to be victorious here.

"We've certainly prepared that way. We've come through these things before. In terms of all that stuff, it's neither here nor there. It's all going to start tomorrow, isn't it?

"To us it doesn't really make a difference, to be honest with you. We all certainly know in our minds when we're preparing, we prepare a certain way for what we're going to expect over the next few days. We're tactically preparing in the nets and doing our work anyway."

If the dossier was Australia's big play in the pre-match verbal warfare, then South Africa have an ace up their sleeves.

Almost 12 months ago to the day, the Aussies were bowled out for just 47 as the Proteas' pace battery went ballistic in Cape Town.

The hope, Smith said, is to bring back memories of that horror innings to the front of baggy green minds in the Gabba Test.

"It was obviously a very interesting day's cricket to have Australia 9-21 or something like that. It's quite hard to still fathom today," he said.

"Our goal is to really get into the batting order and hopefully create a lot of pressure and a bit of doubt ... and have our bowlers expose the top order as much as possible.

"Everyone wants to have a team three down as quickly as possible.

"That inexperience and all the stuff that's been going on, is hopefully something we can exploit. That would be nice, because then we will have Australia under pressure."

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2 Comments

  1. zaq7711:59pm Thursday 08th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Even if the dossier wasn't leaked, the South Africans would still know what the Aussies are like. I mean the sledging thing is old news, seriously they have been doing it for years !!!

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  2. Buzz11:07pm Thursday 08th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Ah yes! The great Ben Dorries writing scuttlebutt about cricket like no other journalist can! What a load of absolute tripe! Bet there was no actual 'dossier' leaked. If that's the best the Aussies can do in terms of analysis, we are in serious strife!

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