CAPE TOWN // The South Africa captain Graeme Smith said he is proud of his team's achievements this season despite being outplayed by England in the recent one-day series. "In terms of the team, we've realised that we've lost some key players in our one-day set-up," said Smith, who was forced out of the last three one-dayers with an elbow injury, at a news conference in Cape Town today. "Trying to replace a guy like Shaun Pollack, who lengthened our batting and finished off games, and with a lot of the young guys struggling with their form in the one-day set-up... has created a bit of pressure on the team."
The Proteas won the Test series against England 2-1 but have since slumped to four consecutive defeats in the five-match one-day series. "I think the Test side is strong in itself, it's had a huge amount of success this year," Smith said. "This season as a whole has been incredibly successful for South African cricket and we're obviously pretty proud of what we've achieved." An elbow injury forced Smith to return home from England, but he hopes to be fit in time for South Africa's tour of Australia which begins on Dec 17 with a Test match in Perth.
"It's pretty tender at the moment but I'm seeing the surgeon next week," he said. "I've got the opportunity to rest now and get it right and once I've seen the doctor I'll have more clarity on that, but I hope to get some domestic cricket in before we go to Australia." South Africa play their final match of the England tour today, a one-day international in Cardiff, before returning home to host Kenya for two one-day internationals.