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"We need to break the hoodoo," is how Proteas cricket captain Graeme Smith will approach the third MTN one-day international (ODI) against Australia at Newlands today, with the teams level at 1-all in the five-match series.
So far, the Australian tour of South Africa has been a mirror image of the South African tour of Australia, and if things continue according to the cycle, Australia would win the last three ODIs. But Smith is determined to break the pattern and win the series.
"It's been a long season for us, starting with the tour to Pakistan in 2007. These are our last three games together for a period of time and we want to finish on a high note," he said. "It's been a hard three or four months against Australia and it's been really competitive. There's some exciting cricket ahead in the three games and hopefully, starting tomorrow, we can turn things around and change the hoodoo."
It was suggested Smith might start by winning the toss - he has lost every toss against Ricky Ponting over the summer.
"I just spin the coin and he calls right every time," he laughed. "It would be nice to win, but there are a couple of other factors that come into account - the weather, there's some dew around. But those are uncontrollables. What we can control is the way we play."
Smith said South Africa could take some confidence out of their performance on Sunday, when they bowled Australia out for 131 and then won the match by seven wickets with more than half the overs to spare.
He said the final 11 had not been decided, and the main question was whether to continue with two spinners or to have an extra seamer.
But he said Wayne Parnell, who took four for 25 in just his second ODI, would almost definitely open the bowling with Dale Steyn. - Sapa