Proteas dismiss Aussie mind games

Captain Graeme Smith said mind games are irrelevant.

Proteas captain Graeme Smith. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN.

SYDNEY - Proteas Captain Graeme Smith said Australian attempts at mind games ahead of the test series against South Africa were at best a motivation to the tourists.

Individual plans for targeting South African players, including psychological profiling, supposedly derived from an Australian team dossier were published in the Courier-Mail newspaper on Thursday, the eve of the first test at the Gabba.

The Proteas are unbeaten on the road in test series for six years and coming to Australia fresh from having earned the number one ranking by beating England in England.

"It doesn't really make a difference to be honest with you," Smith told reporters at the Gabba.

"We know in our minds what we're expecting over the next few days and we're looking forward to starting tomorrow." he said

Four years ago, South Africa won a tight three-match series 2-1 for their first triumph on Australian soil.

That was under the guidance of Mickey Arthur, who now coaches the hosts.

Arthur has obviously shared his knowledge of the South Africans with his new charges and made a few public comments about perceived weaknesses, most notably that top ranked pace bowler Dale Steyn did less well against lefthanders.

Like Australia, South Africa are still weighing up whether to play four quicks in Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Rory Kleinveldt on what is expected to be a bouncy Gabba track.

Smith suggested, however, they would be unlikely to rest spinner Imran Tahir to make way for uncapped paceman Kleinveldt.

South Africa look the most likely team to dominate test cricket in the way the Australians once did - a fact that has not been lost on Smith and his team mates.