If the Proteas win the upcoming three-match series, they will replace England at the summit of the International Cricket Council’s standings. South Africa captain Smith, speaking on the eve of the first Test at the Oval here, said his side’s strong away record made them genuine contenders. “We’ve been really consistent,” said Smith.
“Maybe we haven't got some of the victories we would have liked but away from home our record speaks for itself. In all conditions I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been the most consistent team over a period of time. “We’re looking forward to getting hold of that ranking and performing well. This Test series offers us an opportunity.” England captain Andrew Strauss acknowledged the home team faced “a very strong challenge”. —