JOHANNESBURG, Sept 11: Former cricket captain Graeme Smith has said that he is �nervous� about the Proteas� upcoming �tough� tour of India, starting with the first Test in Mohali on November 5.
�I�m a bit nervous. It�s a tough tour for us and this is a big season for South African cricket with the Indian tour and the English tour later this year. This could be the defining period for this team,� Smith was quoted as saying by The Times here.
�Four Test matches in India are not going to be easy, especially because it involves a lot of travelling, a lot of people and the conditions are going to spin.
�I�m holding thumbs that everything will go well. If we have a good Indian tour, I think we�ll then do very well against the English,� said Smith, who led South Africa to two series draws against India in 2008 and 2009,� he added.
Smith said the Proteas, who have not lost a Test series away since 2006, had no option but to seek retention of the mace presented by the ICC.
�Our record of not losing a Test series away from home since 2006 has been incredible. Hopefully these guys will keep going and keep doing us proud,� Smith said as he offered some advice to the members of the squad in the three formats of the game that were announced by cricket South Africa yesterday.
He directed a comment particularly to Quinton de Kock, who was earlier relegated from the national squad and sent to India with the national A side to hone his skills.
After scoring centuries in three consecutive innings against the India A side, De Kock impressed the selectors enough for him to be included in both the national One Day and T20 squads for the India tour.
�It�s all about building character. If you�re going to have a long career playing at the top of the game, you�re going to be able to deal with failure and how to bounce back from disappointment,� Smith said. � PTI