Cricket Australia Items/news/2014/2/19/we-must-ignore-mitchell-johnson-hype-says-graeme-smith

We must ignore Mitch hype: Smith

UPDATED 20 February, 2014 12:39AM AEST |

Skipper says Proteas sticking to their plans

South Africa captain Graeme Smith says his side must ignore the hype if they are to neutralise Mitchell Johnson and square the three-Test series in Port Elizabeth.

Smith was peppered with more questions about Johnson in his pre-match press conference than balls he faced from the fiery left-armer in the first Test, which didn't take long considering Smith's two innings  lasted just four balls against Johnson.

The skipper said the South Africa camp respected Johnson's incredible form, underlined by career-best figures of 12-127 at Centurion and a leap to world No.4 in the latest ICC rankings, but it was important his teammates treated him like any other bowler.

"We've had a general group discussion on areas that we want to improve," Smith said.

"We haven't watched any more video or anything different to what we did before the first Test.

"It's important not to get caught up in the hype."


Smith was made to look like a tail-ender in the first innings of the opening Test. He was too late evading a menacing ball from Johnson directed at his skull and popped up a catch.

Smith, whose hand Johnson has broken twice, was not worried about his two ineffective knocks in the opening Test.

"One dismissal doesn't make you lose credibility," he said.

"I've faced Mitchell a lot of times. Times when he's had the better of me and times when I've had the better of him.

"I can go and watch videotapes of scoring hundreds against Mitchell, which I've done.

"Every player here has had success against this attack, and not so long ago, really.

"There's a huge amount of respect in our team for someone performing well, but it's important not to get caught up in that." 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 19 February, 2014 10:04PM AEST

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