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Smith looking forward to exciting and tense World Cup

Posted By: Pti

Chennai, Feb 10 (PTI) Desperate to win the elusive WorldCup for his country, South Africa captain Graeme Smith todaysaid his side was well-balanced and had the most variety inbowling, especially spin, and looked forward to play a tenseand most exciting tournament in the sub-continent.

"We have come here with a lot of energy. We have done alot of really good preparations. There are lot of fresh faces.

At the end of the day it is a tense and exiting tournament...

lot of cricket to be played," Smith told a media conferenceafter a practice session ahead of South Africa''s warm-up matchagainst Zimbabwe, to be played here on February 12.

Stating his team had the most variety in bowling to takeon the challenge in the sub-continent conditions, Smithexpressed confidence in his spinners.

"We have got two left-armers. We have three frontlinespinners and some part-timers also. From bowling point of viewin these conditions we have most variety. From selection pointof view for each game, slightly different options areavailable to us. We have also got quite a few options anddepending on the conditions we can select the team," he said.

On playing on the India sub-continent, the Proteascaptain said it was a dream come true for most of histeammates to play the World Cup in a region where there was somuch passion for cricket.

"I think the people in this region are already excitedabout hosting the World Cup. And for a lot of us, it is adream come true to play in the World Cup here."

Smith said sustaining good performance was the key towinning the World Cup as the tournament was spread over a longperiod of over 50 days.

"You need to sustain good performances over a lengthyperiod of time. World Cup is a 50-odd day tournament. It is along time to maintain high level of standards...balance isalways the key. You have to be ready for your games when theycome especially in the round-robin league. You have to performbetter than your opponent, which is the key," he said.

On the fitness of all-rounder Jacques Kallis, recoveringfrom an injury, the Smith said he did not see the need toexpose the veteran too early.

"He is an asset to the team. He is coming along very welland progressing well. He had a full nets today," said Smith.

Asked if Proteas will miss his services if he was notable to bowl, Smith said, "There is no doubt. When you havegot a world-class bowler like Jacques it gives a more option."

On his role as a captain, being his last one-dayassignment, Smith said the experienced gained over the last somany years would stand him good.

"I am best prepared to lead the guys. I have been animportant face of South African cricket. I have gainedexperience and knows what the team needs and what is requiredfor these tournaments. I just wanted to lead these guys here.

I am excited about the opportunity and will lead from thefront." .

Story first published: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 17:15 [IST]
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