Smith hails team spirit after test win over India

NAGPUR, India - South Africa captain Graeme Smith hailed the maturity shown by his team in adverse circumstances after they won the opening test against top-ranked India on Tuesday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 9 Feb 2010, 9:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:30 AM

‘It is a credit to the players, the maturity that they have shown, in terms of professionalism, in terms of the spirit they have shown, how much it means to them to play for South Africa,’ Smith said after his side shrugged off a difficult build-up to win by an innings and six runs.

‘It has been clinical. It was a great team effort.’

South Africa’s preparations for the tour were disrupted when long-serving coach Mickey Arthur quit and the entire selection committee were sacked following last month’s drawn test series against England at home.

South Africa will wrest back the top ranking if they win the series. The second and final test starts in Kolkata on Sunday.

‘We were outplayed by South Africa in all departments of the game,’ India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after his first loss in 12 tests as captain.

‘(Dale) Steyn showed one of the best displays of conventional swing bowling seen in India in recent years,’ he said of the South African fast bowler’s career-best seven for 51 in the first innings.

‘We have seen reverse swing happening of late but here was a bowler using conventional swing to his advantage.’

Steyn, the world’s top-ranked bowler, finished with a match haul of 10-108.

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