x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Business as usual for the Proteas

The absence of Mickey Arthur will not derail South Africa's plans after they arrived in India for their month-long tour according to Graeme Smith.

The absence of Mickey Arthur will not derail South Africa's plans after they arrived in India for their month-long tour, Graeme Smith said yesterday. The Proteas, who were rocked last week by their coach's resignation just days before they left for the two-match Test series and three-match one-day internationals, will be managed by Corrie van Zyl in the interim. Despite the loss of their coach, the captain remains confident that not much will need to be changed as they look towards the opening match against the world's No 1 side in Nagpur on Saturday.

"As far as having a new coach in Corrie is concerned, we have worked together before and we had a good session today," Smith said. "The players are all going about their work as normal to make sure we are all prepared as best as we can be come Saturday." The clash at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground will be preceded by a two-day practice match against the BCCI President's XI starting tomorrow.

The left-handed opener also emphasised the Proteas are not focused on reclaiming the No 1 spot in the five-day ICC rankings from their hosts. "The No 1 ranking is not really an issue for us. India have been playing good cricket, that is why they are ranked No 1," he said. * PA Sport