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Smith hoping SA reach 'next level' Published: 03 July 2012

Such is the hectic nature of this 2012 summer that England are still concentrating on their ODI series against Australia, which has got off to an excellent start after victory at Lord's in the opening match.

But with their number one Test status set to be examined by South Africa - who spent four months as the top side in 2009 - attentions are set to turn to Graeme Smith's side soon.

"I don't think we need much more motivation to beat England," said Smith, before his 15-man Test squad set off for a three Test, five ODI and three T20 trip.

"We've come close to the top of the rankings for a period of time. We're hoping this will be the year that we can take ourselves to the next level."

The series kicks off at The Oval on Thursday 19 July and concludes at Lord's on Thursday 16 August, with a match at Headingley in between.

The series has a number of mouthwatering match-ups in prospect, with James Anderson and Dale Steyn leading the two most impressive fast-bowling attacks in the Test arena.

Smith offered some praise for the England team the Proteas are set to face, as they look to record their second consecutive away series win over the hosts since their readmission to international cricket in 1992.

"They've proven over time that they are a methodical, well-drilled team," added the 31-year-old veteran, who will play his 100th Test at the Oval.

"They'll be battle hardened. They play the game hard and no-one wants to give an inch."

South Africa Test squad:
 
Graeme Smith (capt)
 31
 
A B de Villiers (vice-captain)
 28
 
Hashim Amla
 29
 
Mark Boucher
 35
 
Marchant de Lange
 21
 
Jean-Paul Duminy
 28
 
Imran Tahir
 33
 
Jacques Kallis
 36
 
Morne Morkel
 27
 
Alviro Pietersen
 31
 
Robin Peterson
 32
 
Vernon Philander
 26
 
Jacques Rudolph
 31
 
Dale Steyn
 28
 
Lonwabo Tsotsobe
 28
 


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