Australians expect no incidents

Australia's cricket management were at pains to play down any suggestion of ill will between their side and South Africa when the tourists held their first tour press conference on Tuesday.

With South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher having fired shots at the Australians over the weekend, and Australian opener Justin Langer replying, it was a much more positive message that Australian coach John Buchanan was selling.

"We'll take every possible precaution, but nothing more than normal, to ensure there are no disciplinary incidents and we hope to leave the tour unscathed.

"Our record over the last while has been pretty well exemplary, with just the odd incident," he told Supersport.co.za.

Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist acknowledged there had been racial abuse towards the South Africans during their tour of Australia.

"Obviously, a lot has been said about the incidents in Australia, but I don't think it will lead to anything more drastic here.

"A lot more is spoken about what happens on the field than what actually happens on the field.

"The hospitality is second to none and we really enjoy being here. Everyone seems so genuinely happy that we are here," he said.

Australia arrived without two key players, Michael Hussey, whose wife is due to give birth this week and Glenn McGarth, who has remained with his wife who has had a cancer relapse.

The tour opens on Friday with a Twenty20 international, and the first one-day international is on Sunday.

Without McGrath, captain Ricky Ponting said Brett Lee would continue to provide the bowling thrust, something that Lee has thrived on.

"Glenn's absence has thrown the attack a bit, but with Brett taking wickets early on with the new ball and Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark stepping in and stepping up, I couldn't be much happier," Ponting said.

The Australians will be looking to continue their recent dominance over South Africa in the one-dayers.

"We've played some great limited overs cricket recently, more importantly against South Africa, but they're going to come back a lot stronger here, especially if they have all their injured players back.

"We've had great success against Graeme Smith over the summer, there's no doubt, but he is a class player and we have to keep coming up with different plans.

"There's no such thing as a watertight plan - it's a very irrational game," Ponting said.

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Tui Active Post Georgie Pie Specsavers CCC Powerade
Sky Pitch Radio Network TAB Gillette Accor Hotels City Fitness