Smith - Experience is key

Proteas can take top spot in rankings with series win in England

Last Updated: 03/07/12 10:00am

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Graeme Smith: South Africa skipper has impressive record in England

Graeme Smith: South Africa skipper has impressive record in England

Sky Bet

South Africa captain Graeme Smith knows his top order will come under pressure in England but thinks they have the experience to cope.

The top two sides in the world meet over three Tests later this summer with the number one ranking, currently held by England, at stake.

Opening batsman Smith, who now only leads his country in the five-day format, will be making his fourth tour of England, where he averages 72.20 in nine Tests.

"I believe we have enough batters that have performed over time under that sort of pressure in England," said Smith.

"Even the guys who haven't been there before have played lots of county cricket and experienced the conditions.

"It's all about partnerships and creating that credibility to perform well together.

"The top six as a whole needs to be really tight and perform well for each other - that is going to be a key factor in the series."

Friends

South Africa coach Gary Kirsten is looking forward to pitting his wits against Andy Flower, his friend and contemporary.

Kirsten played against Flower during their respective playing careers and feels he has a good insight into how the Zimbabwean thinks about cricket.

"We are fairly good friends," said Kirsten. "We are in contact a little bit, not much.

"I respect the way he goes about his business. I played cricket against him so I understand his thinking and his ways.

"We've got some different thoughts on certain things but he has had incredible success with England and has a good head on his shoulders in terms of what he wants to do.

"I wish him well in his coaching career - except for the next few months!"

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