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Rediff.com  » Sports » Happy to have troubled India in their den: Smith

Happy to have troubled India in their den: Smith

February 19, 2010 09:36 IST

Graeme SmithHis side lost the battle for number one Test spot with India with their innings defeat in the second match but captain Graeme Smith said they were proud to have troubled the home side in their own backyard in the drawn series.

"The fact that we could draw a series in India is a credit for our players. If you see the recent records of the teams that have toured here, not many teams have been able to push India like we have done in these conditions.

That's the positive for us more than anything else," Smith told reporters after South Africa lost by an innings and 57 runs.

"Obviously, we are disappointed for not taking the series but a lot of positives have come out of the two Tests. We have come to India twice recently and have played five Tests and we have not lost a series here. We have to look when India come to South Africa at the end of the year in South African conditions we will take it from there," he added.

Smith rued that his side failed to capitalise from a good position at tea on day one but conceded that India grabbed with both hands the opportunities that came their way.

"After winning the first Test and come here we had the opportunity on day one at tea. At 200 for two we had the upper hand. We just got into situation where we lost quick wickets and the guys coming may be lacking a bit of confidence. Once we fell behind, India took the control. We know in the subcontinent it's very difficult to play catch-up cricket," he said.

"But you must give credit to the India for the way they performed. They really took the opportunity with both hands. I think they played better than us in the second Test. At the end of the day, it's been a terrific series," said Smith.

He refused to find fault with his middle batsmen for not contributing much in the Test while tailenders like Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel frustrated the Indians with their patience and application.

"I think the determination was there whole day. Some guys just got stuck in and it worked for them and some didn't. Hashim Amla was brilliant and guys like Morne and Wayne stuck in there. It's really good for a tailender under these conditions. There are lessons to be learnt though.

"But this Test side has achieved some incredible results in the last two years. Achievements that other teams have not done for 16-20 years, we need to look that," said the visiting captain who will not be part of the ODI squad due to injury.

Asked about his injury, Smith said, "It was really frustrating last year and half for this sore fingers that occasionally got broken. I just have to take rest now and hopefully come back fresher. There is whole lot of cricket left this year ahead. Hopefully it heals quicker."

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