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Smith confident ahead of India Test

The Proteas captain says his team has improved significantly since they last faced India in 2010.

FILE: Graeme Smith received with the ICC Reliance Test Mace on 28 March 2013. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Proteas captain Graeme Smith on Tuesday said his team will continue to grow in stature ahead of Wednesday first Test match against India.

South Africa, currently the world's best Test side, will be looking to reinforce their dominance in the two-match series.

South Africa announced one change to the side that recently beat Pakistan.

Hashim Amla will replace Dean Elgar for the Wanderers Test.

Smith says the team has improved significantly since the last time they faced India in 2010.

"Obviously, our confidence and surety in our own ability has improved. The big thing is the confidence in knowing that we can win."

According to Smith, Pakistan-born South African cricketer Imran Tahir's form meant he couldn't be left out of the squad.

"It was obviously a very tough choice from the selection panel. Imran has been bowling really well and we feel that a spinner's role is probably going to be limited here at the Wanderers. But we just felt that if an impact was needed, then someone like Imran could make that impact for us."

Meanwhile, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has backed his young squad to make a mark with the bat following their failings during the One-Day International (ODI) series.

"I'm definitely confident, that's the reason why they're here. It's not an ongoing experiment. They've done really well on the domestic circuit and when they've gotten international exposure, they've done really well. It's a fresh challenge for them."

Dhoni called on his squad to tighten up their performance with the ball.

"I think one of the most crucial things will be to bowl well. To win Test matches, you need to score runs but at the end of the day, we need to take 20 wickets."

He said his team would have to adapt to conditions quickly.

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