All's not well in the South African camp

Published: Mar 17, 2009, 08:07 IST | Khalid A-H Ansari

South African captain has hinted that all is not well in the affairs of his demoralised team, whose hopes of world supremacy have been dashed by a resurgent Australian team in the current series.

South African captain has hinted that all is not well in the affairs of his demoralised team, whose hopes of world supremacy have been dashed by a resurgent Australian team in the current series.

With his team two-down in the three Test series and himself out of contention because of a broken thumb, the Proteas management appears to be at loggerheads with team members, as evidenced by the farce of the appointment of four captains for Thursday's Test at Cape Town in as many days.

The last test saw Mark Boucher take over as captain after Smith was hit on the thumb by a rampaging Mitchell Johnson, only to have the selectors appoint regular vice-captain Ashwell Prince as captain and opening batsman for the third Test.

With Prince reportedly refusing to open the innings, the selectors named all-rounder Jacques Kallis, still recovering from the physical and psychological pain of a Johnson delivery on his face, captain the following day.

Journalists travelling with the Australian team have reported that Smith was visibly angry when it was announced that opening batsman Neil McKenzie and bowler Morne Morkel had been dropped.

He is said to have sat slumped with arms folded and head turned away as convenor of selectors Mike Procter answered newsmen's questions about the issue.

"It is disappointing but the saddest thing is that during times like these you need cool heads," he told a local paper.

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