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Proteas plot a courageous comeback

The Proteas lost their first Test to Pakistan by seven wickets on Thursday.

Proteas captain Graeme Smith. Picture: Alicia Pillay/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith believes the team has too much quality not to bounce back in the second Test against Pakistan.

South Africa lost their first Test by seven wickets on Thursday which ended their 15 match unbeaten run.

Smith says it's only natural that the team is hurt.

"I think it should hurt; the team has too much ability not to make this a habit. Teams can play well, you do lose and it's natural in sports. But the standard that we have set for ourselves, we should have the ability to bounce back."

The Proteas' bowling attack struggled to take wickets in Abu Dhabi. Smith says they need to back the players.

"People have bad games but we need to work on the people and the personnel giving the best opportunity to do well. Tactically we need to decide what's the best option going forward into Dubai, it's a must win game for us. So how we set up for our bowlers to take more wickets is what we need to discuss."

Smith hinted that they won't be making changes to their bowling line-up for the next match.

"Right now it's about giving the guys who played this game the best opportunity to get some confidence back as this is a crucial aspect in the game of cricket. My focus as a leader now is to work with all those guys that have taken a bit of a bang in their confidence."

The Proteas captain says the team is terribly disappointed to have lost the first Test against Pakistan. Smith admitted they were outplayed throughout the Test, but also acknowledged the quality of the team they played against.

(Edited Leeto M. Khoza)