Smith aiding South Africa ahead of Cape Town Test


South Africa have enlisted the help of former skipper Graeme Smith ahead of the second Test with England in a bid to solve their batting woes.

Smith, who retired from international cricket in March 2014 after captaining the Proteas in 109 of his 117 Tests, was critical of his country's performance as they suffered a 241-run thumping in Durban.

Having struggled for runs when suffering a 3-0 reverse in India, South Africa were dismissed for 214 and 174 on their return to home soil, enabling England to move ahead in the four-Test series.

The number-one ranked Test side now face the challenge of bouncing back at Cape Town's Newlands ground - a venue where they have traditionally fared well in recent years.

And captain Hashim Amla has backed the decision to appoint Smith, who suggested last month that he was considering coming out of retirement, as a batting consultant.

"Graeme has got a good know-how about Test cricket and that's what Test cricket is about. It's about know-how, having a feel for the game and we've got a lot of youngsters that can draw on that," said Amla on the eve of the game.

"Early in his career there were a few crushing defeats and he is well aware of how difficult it is and how important it is for a team to reassess and get back.

"Graeme can give guidance to the batters, which he already has today [Friday]. It is a confidence type of thing.

"You've got to almost refresh what the processes are that made you successful. Graeme knows more than most how tough it is to play cricket and how it is to go through tough times."

The Proteas will be without spearhead Dale Steyn, who hurt his shoulder during the first Test, while fellow seamer Kyle Abbott (hamstring) is also a doubt. Kagiso Rabada will deputise for Steyn, while Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen are waiting in the wings should Abbott fail to prove his fitness.

Wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock is likely to be included in order to allow AB de Villiers to relinquish the gloves.

England could be handed an injury boost, with record wicket-taker James Anderson in contention to make a comeback at the expense of Chris Woakes after missing the first Test due to a calf strain.

Touring captain Alastair Cook said: "He [Anderson] is desperate to play but we have to make sure it's the right decision."