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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 March, 2003, 08:27 GMT
Smith seeks South African spark
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport in Johannesburg

Graeme Smith
Smith wants to reignite South African passions
New South African captain Graeme Smith has pledged to reinvigorate his team's passion for the game in a bid to return them to winning ways.

Under former skipper Shaun Pollock, South Africa were one of the favourites to win the 2003 World Cup.

But the tournament co-hosts failed to qualify for the Super Six stage, prompting the sacking of Pollock and the appointment of 22-year-old Smith as captain.

And Smith told the BBC Sport website: "I have to get everyone in the team working in one sole direction.

"Maybe we need a bit of discipline in our cricket and maybe we need a bit of fun. But I am determined to bring back the passion and spark."

Smith has long been tipped as a future South African captain and has promised to take a strong approach in restructuring team morale.

As a captain, I have to have the ability to tap into any player
Graeme Smith

Pollock was criticised during his tenure for failing to be decisive and spending too much time seeking the advice of senior team-mates.

But Smith said he planned to take a more proactive approach, with his first aim being to get the more established players, who had failed to shine in the World Cup, to hit top form again.

"One of my hardest jobs will be to get the guys to step up a gear. As a captain I have to have the ability to tap into any player," said Smith.

"With Jacques Kallis you have to make him bowl at 140kph because you know he can if he wants to."

Smith picks up the pieces
21 Mar 03 |  South Africa
Have Your Say on South Africa
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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