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Smith talks up showdown
21 Mar 2007
By: Zac Gelman


The blockbuster Group A clash between Australia and South Africa on the 24th, has already begun in a verbal capacity with South African captain Graeme Smith saying the Australians have lost their "fear factor".

The showdown between the two best sides in the world is one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the 2007 World Cup.

"We've come a long way against Australia, there isn't that fear factor any more. There's a lot of respect on both sides of the fence," he said after his man of the match performance against Scotland.

"It's going to be a cracking game and hopefully we can perform well in it."

"The next couple of days will be important for our planning going into Sunday's game. We're a very confident bunch of guys, each guy has had a good workout in these two games and we're running solidly.

"Both teams have a fair amount of match-winners and experience and it's all about who performs better on the day and who takes their chances."

Smith also queried the logic behind playing Andrew Symonds in the match, with the possibility the all-rounder could re-injure his bicep if rushed back into the side prematurely.

"It will be interesting to see if they take the gamble on him in the game on Saturday, whether they know he's going to be able to get through his overs and field, that's going to be a risk for them," he said.

"We'll plan accordingly that he does play and we'll take it from there."

Meanwhile the Australians will look to target the in-form Smith who scored 91 from 65 balls against Scotland, believing the skipper to be the key to South Africa's recent one-day success.

"He gives them some tremendous momentum at the top of the order. We had a really good stranglehold on him in Australia and even in South Africa, in the main part of the contests that we had," said Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist said.

"He is a very important player and we will want to try and keep him down."

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