The Castle Lager Proteas will be out to maintain their good record at Sahara Park Newlands in the first Sunfoil Test match against New Zealand starting on Wednesday. The Proteas’ have not lost a Test in Cape Town since 2006, and have won five out of nine Tests played during that period.
Captain, Graeme Smith says the New Year’s Test is the “marquee” fixture on South Africa’s cricketing calendar, with the players taking confidence from the rousing support from the locals and good record.
“Everything seems to fit well when we get here,” Smith said of the world renowned venue. “The preparation is always good, the support we get in Cape Town in terrific. It’s great to see that the fans are turning up again, especially tomorrow and day two. Seeing people buying tickets and wanting to be a part of this Test match is important to us.
“When you have a good record at a ground you immediately arrive with a certain confidence and understanding of how you need to go about things. I think we know what to expect when we get to Newlands and understanding that helps us get the results.”
The Proteas have had a patchy record at home compared to their impressive away form, and Smith hopes his team can emulate their success on the road in front of their home crowds.
“Bar Durban, we have been quite consistent around South Africa,” he said. “We would like to put that right when we get the opportunity. This is our opportunity now, I think the team has taken big steps forward in 2012 and we are encouraged and happy to be at home in front of our fans.
“We travelled a lot last year, it was hostile and tough, so hopefully we can come here and play the same style of cricket in South Africa in front of our supporters.”