Chennai:Describing the three-Test cricket series against India starting here on March 26 as exciting, South African captain Graeme Smith on Saturday said his side was ready to take on the challenge from the home team.
"It is going to be exciting. Indians are confident... We are also here with lot of confidence. Playing anywhere in the sub-continent is a challenge and we are confident we can meet the challenge," he told a press conference hours after the team arrived in the city for the first Test.
"This is the tour we have been looking forward to. It is crucial as we have two tough series coming up against England and Australia," Smith, who guided the Proteas to the No 1 spot in the ODI rankings, said.
He also brushed aside accusations about selection of the team on the basis of colour leading to the pullout of fast bowler Charl Langeveldt in the aftermath of the controversy over his selection ahead of fellow paceman Andre Nel.
"It is a bit disappointing. We feel for the players and have spoken to them. It affects the team certainly. But we are a matured family and our job is to continue with cricket."
It was widely believed that Langeveldt was picked mainly to fill the quota of coloured players in the touring squad.
On playing the first Test here without any tour matches, Smith, who replaced Sachin Tendulkar as the world's top ODI batsman recently, said "We have been busy playing cricket throughout the year. We have enough strength in our composition to meet the challenge.
"Next three days are going to be crucial. We are still trying for a warm-up match."