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Smith excited about Tahir’s presence in ODI squad

Posted by on January 11, 2011 0 Comment

Durban, Jan 11 (IANS) South African skipper Graeme Smith said it was his dream to have an attacking spinner like Imran Tahir in the side and is excited to have the Pakistan-born player for the One-day series against India.

Tahir, 31, was last week named in South Africa’s squad for the five match one-day series against which begins Wednesday. Smith said a leg-spinner in the side gives him an option to attack in the middle overs.

“It is something (having an attacking spinner) I have dreamt about during my captaincy, said Smith.

“Where we play Imran, and how we play him, is a crucial aspect of his management. For us to have an attacking option, especially through the middle overs, is a real asset because it is not something we have really had,” Smith told at a press conference here.

Off-spinner Johan Botha, who was also part of the squad, has been a containing option and Smith said the presence of Tahir as a wicket-taking bowler is an asset for the team.

“Johan has been excellent for us, he has really controlled the games well for us and to have someone like Imran in our squad, who can pick up wickets in the middle overs and change games, together with our seam attack is a wonderful asset.”

But Smith maintained that he will not pressurise Tahir.

“I do not want to put too much pressure and expectation on him, I just want to let him find his feet and grow in the (team) environment.

“He has proven to be very successful in county cricket (in England) and domestic cricket (in South Africa) and I would just like him to find his feet at international level,” summed up Smith.

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