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Smith returns to face Johnson music

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Last Updated: April 02, 2009, 18:56 IST

Smith returns to face Johnson music

Smith is set to return for the series opener against Australia.

Durban: Putting behind lengthy spells of injury including two separate instances of broken hands, South Africa captain Graeme Smith is set to return for the series opener against Australia at the Kingsmead on Friday.

Although Smith participated in the first two Tests as well as the Australia leg of the Test series, Smith has been out of ODI action since playing against Bangladesh last year.

"For a little period I have been out of the game but I have felt in control of my game for some time now," commented the Proteas captain. "It is nice to be back playing for South Africa. It is something I am looking forward to and hopefully we can put in a special performance on Friday and in the rest of the games."

Smith was philosophical about his latest clash with Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson after suffering broken bones in both hands against the strike bowler this summer but indicated that it would not affect him, nor would he change his preparation or approach.

"Mitchell has been bowling really well," he said. "He is one of the best fast bowlers in the world at the moment and it will be a real challenge facing him. It is something I look forward to. We have had a really good battle over the last period of time, I have had a bit of success and he has had a bit of success, so we will see what happens."

Smith also said that he was heartened by the progress Jacques Kallis was making in recovering from his groin injury and that he had a good chance of being fit in time for the second one-dayer.

"He is coming through nicely. He is bowling in the nets and he has had a good batting session as well. From what I understand from the physio he is progressing very nicely and SuperSport Park (on Sunday) is a very definite option.

South Africa team: Graeme Smith (captain), Johan Botha (vice-capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini. 12th man: Roelof van der Merwe.

first published:April 02, 2009, 18:56 IST
last updated:April 02, 2009, 18:56 IST
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