• Smuts braces for ‘best side in the world’

    Proteas all-rounder Jon-Jon Smuts is looking forward to the challenge of playing India on the sub-continent.

    Smuts was part of the limited-overs series in South Africa against England and Australia. He has been retained for the three ODIs in India.

    ‘We have India now, who are the best side in the world and in their conditions, they are going to be extremely difficult to beat,’ said Smuts.

    ‘We’ve played at home this summer, so it’ll be a great test for us and to see how we’re going to compete against the best sides in the world.’

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    Smuts wasn’t necessarily going to be named in the first-choice XI for the recent ODI series against Australia. Batsman Temba Bavuma, however, was sidelined by injury. Smuts grabbed the opportunity in the final ODI, in particular, striking 84 and snaring two wickets for the Player of the Match accolade.

    ‘It’s a dream to play for South Africa and to be involved against England and Australia. Injuries do happen in the series and I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity through an injury. Opportunity for me but hard for Temba,’ he added.

    ‘It’s great to be a part of the system, it’s a very competitive at the moment with everyone putting their hands up. If I’m playing, I’m happy. At the moment, I’m taking it series by series.’

    The first ODI will be played in Dharamsala on Thursday.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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