| Updated at: 1136 PST, Monday, October 25, 2010|
JOHANNESBURG: Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, has said his team is focussed on performing its best in the upcoming tour of the UAE where it takes on Pakistan in a full series and is not distracted by the spot-fixing controversy that has troubled Pakistan cricket since the tour of England earlier in the year.
Smith said he expected Pakistan to be competitive in favourable conditions and called out fans in the UAE to provide the fullest support to the teams.
"I think generally there are always one or two things going on in Pakistan cricket, so they're pretty used to dealing with stuff like that at least from a playing perspective," Smith told a station based in the UAE. "We still expect them to be very competitive on this tour and conditions to suit them.
"You can't hide away from what's going on but as a unit we've dealt with this in our society over the years. We're used to adversity and for us it's just about being honest."
He team left for the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to play Pakistan and in Dubai in a series of five Twenty20 matches, five one-day internationals and three Tests.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith believes that a much tougher test awaits than the one against Zimbabwe, which was passed with flying colours.
While the South Africans achieved a record win of 272 runs in the last one-day game (and a series win of 3-0), Smith was a little worried.
His team achieved its biggest one-day win to date by posting 399-6 and then bowling the visitors out for just 127.
“You can’t really complain when you thrash your opponent like that and there were definitely several positives in the series,” said Smith.
“Even so, there are still one or two concerns because the game in Benoni was the first where our batting, bowling and fielding were up to standard.”
He added that it was difficult to measure yourself against a cricketing lightweight like Zimbabwe.
“They have improved a lot since the last time we played them and put us under pressure with the bat. But we realise that Pakistan will be a much tougher test, especially as we don’t know at all what to expect from the conditions there.”
Blistering heat, strange batting wickets and an unpredictable Pakistan team with its back to the wall are among the challenges awaiting the Proteas.
“We have not been in the Emirates for a long time and there are obviously a number of unknown factors. The first game already takes place two days after we land there and then a month full of cricket awaits us,” said Smith.