Smith likes the favourites tag | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

Smith likes the favourites tag

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Australia will be a touring team under pressure, according to South Africa captain Graeme Smith.
Australia arrived here on Monday to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals on a two-month tour.
South Africa will be favourites after winning both the Test and one-day series in Australia recently.
It is a position with which the host nation will be comfortable, Smith told the South African Sunday Times, although warning that he expected an Australian backlash.
"It's going to be an unusual place to be for a South African team," said Smith.
"It's a great feeling and a reward for all the sacrifices everyone has made. But we know that Australians are very competitive people and they don't like to be on the back foot.
"The only way we can keep them there is by playing better cricket again."
The side Ricky Ponting will lead is one of the most inexperienced Australian touring parties in recent history, and Smith said they would lack the confidence that previous sides had on the second leg of back-to-back tours that have been the norm for South Africa-Australia contests.
"On previous tours they have come here with confidence having had the foot on us right through the summer there and they've just carried it on.
"Now, even their experienced guys will come here in a different frame of mind, while the younger players are coming here for the first time."
Smith said the Australians faced several selection issues while South Africa had already announced they would field the same starting eleven, with the addition of left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe that won the first two Tests in Australia before losing the third.
"They're a touring team under pressure and it's never easy," he said.
"If we can play well in the first Test maybe we can open up a few cracks."
One good omen for the Australians is that they will travel to the small university town of Potchefstroom, an hour's drive west of Johannesburg, immediately after their arrival.
With good training facilities and no big-city distractions, Potchefstroom was chosen by Australia as their pre-tournament base before the 2003 World Cup in South Africa and they went on to lift the title without losing a match.

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