Smith predicts fireworks in South Africa

Steve Smith is predicting a tough time for batsmen during ‘s Test tour of South Africa.Steve Smith has declared will fight fire with fire during a Test series in South Africa which looms as a showdown between two world-class pace attacks.

The n squad has arrived in Johannesburg for the first of four Tests with Smith predicting both sides’ batsmen will be pushed to the limit in pace-friendly conditions.

South African spearhead Dale Steyn is battling to recover from a heel injury before the first Test in Durban starting on March 1.

But his absence proved no impediment during the Proteas’ recent series victory over India with Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and newcomer Lungi Ngidi forming a lethal attack.

‘s formidable attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins delivered plenty of bouncers during the Ashes, and Smith said they wouldn’t hesitate to maintain that approach.

“I think they’ll go down a similar path,” the n captain told reporters.

“I think there could be some good short-pitched bowling throughout the series, to batters, to the tail, everyone from both sides.

“I don’t think a great deal changes there.”

India turned the tables on their hosts during a savage third Test in Johannesburg in which several batsmen copped nasty blows and the umpires considered calling the match off due to the “dangerous” pitch.

But far from being apprehensive about the conditions, Smith said he would relish facing the Proteas’ quicks.

“I think it’s really exciting and the batters should be looking forward to this series,” he said.

“You love going up against good pace and those sorts of challenges.

“It’s going to be a fantastic series for the viewers to watch.”

The ns will be aiming to maintain a dominant recent record in South Africa, having not lost a Test series there since the Proteas’ readmission to international cricket in 1991.

“I think for us as a whole, we’re coming off the back of a pretty good Ashes campaign at home,” Smith said.

“We’ve played some really good cricket and hopefully we can keep that up here in South Africa.

“The message to the boys is one good series doesn’t make a great team. You need to keep backing it up day-in, day-out in different conditions.”

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