Smith hails ‘incredible win’ over India

Captain proud of South Africa’s performance to consolidate top ranked status


Afp December 31, 2013

DURBAN: South Africa captain Graeme Smith hailed ‘an incredible win’ for his team after they clinched an emphatic ten-wicket victory on the fifth day of the second and final Test against India at Kingsmead on Monday.

The win, in Jacques Kallis’ final Test match, clinched the two-match series for South Africa after the first Test in Johannesburg was drawn.

It also confirmed South Africa’s ranking as the world’s number one Test team and increased their gap over second-ranked India. Smith said South Africa had to fight their way out of some tough situations.

“We wanted the win as a fitting tribute to Jacques but the weather and the pitch made life a little more difficult,” said Smith.

“We had to work hard after we lost so much time in the game. India played so well on day one, so to have the ability to turn it around like we did was a huge achievement. It was an incredible win.”

Smith said the century by Kallis in his last Test innings was a crucial component of the win.

“We needed to make sure we got a lead in the first innings. It wasn’t easy with the ball spinning and a bit of reverse swing. We needed to grind out a score and set up the game. Jacques’s hundred allowed us to do that.”

Meanwhile, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believed India’s young players had taken a big step forward during the series.

“Not many of our batsmen had played in more than five Tests outside India,” he said. “It was very good experience for them playing against a top side.”

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