Smith defends Philander

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Captain Graeme Smith snapped at reporters questioning South Africa's tactics at the end of the drawn first Test against India, a match the host was in prime position to win. Photo: Duif du Toit

 

Johannesburg - Captain Graeme Smith snapped at reporters questioning South Africa's tactics at the end of the drawn first Test against India, a match the host was in prime position to win.

South Africa lifted itself to the brink of an epic win chasing 458 in the final innings on Sunday, then went defensive with 16 runs needed off 18 balls when tailenders Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn were at the crease.

To smatterings of boos from the home crowd, Philander turned down runs to save Steyn from the strike.

Smith told reporters he backed his players' decision, saying “if you want me to say that I disagree with what Dale and Vernon did, I am not going to say that. I think I have answered that question enough.”

Smith claimed India “didn't play like a team ... wanting to win.” - Sapa-AP


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