Proteas cricket dossier ‘nothing new’


If a leaked Australian dossier on South African players ruffled feathers in the Proteas’ camp on the eve of the first Test at the Gabba, captain Graeme Smith hid it well on Thursday.
Smith seemed bemused by ‘Dossier-gate’, saying Australia’s alleged game plan for the three-Test series splashed across News Ltd papers on Thursday was ‘common knowledge’.
The report claimed the key points in Australia’s dossier were launching a ‘psychological war’ on batsman Hashim Amla, targeting legspinner Imran Tahir, peppering allrounder Jacques Kallis with bouncers, keeping Smith on the crease for a possible lbw and testing fast bowler Vernon Philander’s endurance.
‘(It’s) nothing really new. It’s nothing that we didn’t expect,’ Smith said.
‘All of us have played enough against Australia and we know what it’s going to take to be victorious here.’
Ex-Proteas’ mentor Mickey Arthur is the Australian coach and has made no secret ahead of the Gabba clash that he has shared his intimate knowledge of the South African players with the world No.3 Test side.
But Smith wouldn’t bite when asked if the report was a result of ‘silly buggers’ by Arthur’s Australian camp or a media beat-up. ‘I don’t know. To us, it doesn’t really make a difference,’ he said.
Smith even tried to make light of the two-page ‘South Africa files’ when asked if he had similar information on Australia. ‘Yes we do. We try and keep it in the guys’ heads as much as possible so dossiers aren’t left lying around,’ he smiled.Australian captain Michael Clarke initially also tried to laugh off the report.
‘Good read, wasn’t it?’ Clarke smiled.
But he quickly distanced himself from the report when asked if it was a psychological ploy by Australia ahead of a series that will decide the world No.1 Test ranking.
‘No. Well, I can only talk from my behalf, not that I know of,’ he said. ‘We as a team don’t have an official dossier.
‘We look at the footage and talk about opposition players. We study opposition strengths and weaknesses.
‘There was stuff in there that is quite common knowledge about the South African team and there was other stuff in there that we certainly haven’t spoken about.’ Asked if the report would bother the Proteas ahead of the first Test, Clarke said: ‘Both teams would have read the papers. ‘The most important thing for me … is it’s not about what you say – it’s about what you do.’