South Africans break down "Warne factor" - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

South Africans break down "Warne factor"

By Greg Buckle 25/12/2005 07:41:06 PM Comments (0)

South African coach Mickey Arthur says the tourists are starting to overcome the "Shane Warne factor" and are high on confidence going into the second Test against Australia at the MCG.

Arthur says his side's ability to bat out four sessions to draw the first Test at the WACA helped break down the aura around the world's leading wicket-taker.

"We think momentum is with us, quite definitely," Arthur said after confirming South Africa's leading runscorer Jacques Kallis would return from an elbow injury in a straight swap for Justin Kemp, who will miss out with a shoulder complaint.

"We think that Warne factor now has been somewhat blurred if you like in our minds. We are quietly confident."

But Arthur said Warne, 36, remained a "phenomenal" player.

"Whether we countered him in Perth or not (3-92 and 3-83), he's going to play a huge part in the series," he said.

"A lot of our mental preparation is around countering Shane Warne, most definitely."

South African captain Graeme Smith added to the spirited build-up to the second Test by saying Australia was relying heavily on Warne.

"We know that he always carries a big load for them," Smith said of the weary leg-spinner, who bowled 76 overs in the first Test.

"For him to bowl 40 overs from one end kind of told us that he is the guy they are relying on a lot going into the series.

"I'm just glad to see the way the guys came through. It was really good for us to fight it out.

"The team is really starting to believe in itself."

Arthur says the tourists are considering bringing in left-arm spinner Nicky Boje for swing bowler Charl Langeveldt.

Arthur said the team would have a final look at the MCG drop-in pitch in the morning before deciding on its bowling line-up.

"I guess the final poser will come down to do we play a four-man seam attack or do we play a spinner?," he said.

"It looks a little bit browner than it did yesterday. I think it has dried out quite nicely.

"I do like going into a Test match with a spinner. I think it gives you greater options.

"But conditions must allow for that."

Smith said South Africa had traditionally found Australia an extremely tough place to tour, losing 3-0 here four years ago.

"Australia has always been a scary and daunting task for South African teams," he said.

"The public are very hard on South African touring teams. Australia has always been a powerful side.

"I think in the past South Africa has probably had a big fear of failure, whereas I think we have come to terms with that.

"We've come here more open and looking forward to playing in front of Australian crowds."

Warne has openly mocked South African teams on the field in the past including memorable stoushes with Daryll Cullinan.

Warne has continued the mind games in the press in the past week, but Smith says it's having little effect.

"I don't think it has bothered us. We have come over here very prepared for stuff like that," Smith said.

"We have expected a lot of verbal in the papers and a lot of things to be said.

"If anything, they have been under more pressure than us going into this Test match."

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