Steve Smith says Australia want to exploit a low-morale Proteas side after their 5-1 ODI series defeat to India.
The jam-packed season continues, and next up is Australia, who take on the Proteas in a four-match Test series that starts on 1 March in Durban.
Both sides come off a Test series win: the Proteas beat India 2-1 and Australia battered England 4-0 in the Ashes.
Smith acknowledged that he kept an eye on the Proteas during their Test battle with India, but it was their 5-1 ODI series humiliation that excited him more.
‘I’ve been watching bits and pieces of it. Been watching bits of the one-dayers the last couple of days as well,’ said Smith. ‘They probably haven’t been at their best, the South Africans, and the Indians have played really well.
‘For us, they might be a little low leading into the Test series and it’s important to try to keep their confidence down and start really well in the first Test match in Durban.’
The Proteas can boost their confidence knowing that the last time the sides met, they won the series 2-1 Down Under. Australia, on the other hand, have never lost a Test series in South Africa, post-isolation. Out of 12 series, Australia have triumphed 10 times and drawn two.
Smith admitted that this will definitely motivate them heading into the Test series.
‘It means a lot,’ said Smith about Australia’s unbeaten record in South Africa. ‘Coming to South Africa, it’s probably the most similar conditions you get to Australia or probably any conditions in the world for two countries. This is going to be a good challenge for this group to hopefully keep that record up.
‘We got beaten by South Africa at home a year ago, and that was a bit of a low point for Australian cricket. So it would be great if we could turn the tides here.’
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