December 10, 2019
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'We Can Get Back To Winning Ways'

In his first assignment after being appointed skipper, the 22-year-old says he is keen to bring back the 'hunger' to win among his teammates after the World Cup debacle.

'We Can Get Back To Winning Ways'
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-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Thrust with the responsibility of taking up the mantle of captaincy after South Africa's disastrous World Cup campaign, Graeme Smith is determined to play his part in the team's resurgence, saying he would bring back the "hunger" to win.

Smith, the youngest to captain South Africa, wants his boys to forget the bitter World Cup memories of an early exit and start looking ahead with fresh ideas.

"The World Cup is over and now we are looking forward. Things have been hectic and we have been working hard on our game since the last month.

"There is no reason why we can't get back to our winning ways," Smith said in Dhaka ahead of the tri-series beginning today.

The 22-year old Smith, who was not in the orignial World Cup squad but was inducted into the team after Jonty Rhodes pulled out due to an injury, was a surprise selection to lead the team after the national selectors decided to sack Shaun Pollock.

But the elegant left-hander believes that he could play a vital role in rebuilding the team.

"Yes, I was not in World Cup squad, the selectors had their views. But they have appointed me the captain and obviously believe in my abilities.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the side," a relaxed Smith said. Smith does not believe that the presence of Pollock in the team will be a problem.

"Shaun and I get along very well. I have no problems with him at all. In fact, he thinks that I am the best guy to lead the side. So honestly I don't think handling him will be a problem," he said.

Smith's resolve to get the team back on track was evident in the way he egged on his players at the first practice session the team had at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

The team went about the session under lights with a new found enthusiasm and the young captain appeared to be in total control.

Describing the Indians as the in-form team in the tri-nation series, the South African skipper said his new look team was capable of giving the Indians a run for their money.

"The key is to adapt to the hot and humid conditions here. The faster we make the change, the better for us. We are working very hard and it should be a very interesting competition."

The South Africans have not named a replacement for star allrounder Jacques Kallis who pulled out of the team at the last minute to attend to his ailing father. But the team management expects the experienced player to join the squad for the Test series against Bangladesh.

The South Africans, who arrived here after a long 18-hour journey from Johannesburg, did not lose much time to have a feel of the conditions here.

South Africa play their opening match against India on Sunday.

PTI

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