'We probably lost the Test match on Day II'
Upset after losing the second Test match by 87 runs, South African captain Graeme Smith expressed his displeasure about the non-usage of Umpires' Decision Review System(UDRS) as two of his key batsmen --- AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher got out to debatable leg before decisions.
"The ICC needs to take responsibility for that. They need to lead the way. They can't leave it up to the boards to negotiate. If the technology is available and they want us to use it, then we must use it," Smith said at the post-match media conference.
"Then you can have a proper idea of whether it works or not. But using it once every seven series is not going to benefit anybody," the South African skipper seemed distinctly unhappy as the decisions by umpires Asad Rauf and Steve Davis were given at a crucial juncture.
But Smith did admit that their batting collapse in the first innings was the primary reason behind the defeat.
"I think we probably lost the Test match on Day II. I don't think it was a 131-wicket. Getting bowled out for that just wasn't good enough," he was forthright in his assessment.
Image: Graeme Smith
A jinxed ground
The captain is also aware that Kingsmead is turning out to be a jinxed ground for the Proteas where they are somehow unable to win.
"We've played well at the Wanderers and other places around the world. We just haven't played in Durban, it's as simple as that. I don't think it's been the pace and bounce in the last few Test matches. Swann bowled well against us here. There was reverse swing against England. We were a little bit loose at times," Smith said.
Smith didn't want to blame the wicket for the defeat but said that one needed to graft on this kind of track.
"It was a wicket that you needed to graft hard on. It was a tough wicket to bat on. You really needed to grind things out. It was a good contest between bat and ball, it provided a really good Test match and that's what you want.
"It was tight going into fourth day, and every day the game swung and was tense. That's what people want to see. Nobody wants pounded out draws. They're a very experienced team. We expected them to bounce back and they have. They played well," he added.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after winning the second Test against South Africa in Durban
'It's important not to get too emotional'
Smith expects Cape Town Test match to be another exciting affair. "It builds up well for a good Test match at Newlands. It's always a great Test match to play in, and being one-all in the series, it's going to be even bigger now," he said.
Smith doesn't feel that all is lost with just one defeat.
"It's important not to get too emotional about things. We've played well for a period of time. We haven't played well here. We haven't played terribly, but we haven't played to our ability. They did slightly better than us at the key moments, and they won this Test match," he added.
Smith dismissed theories that his ugly spat with Sreesanth led to him playing a poor shot and getting dismissed in the process.
"I don't think it had anything to do with me getting out. I've played enough to Test cricket to know what I can handle and what I can't handle. For me, it was more of a technical thing. I'm not going to get into that now," he said.
Image: Graeme Smith