Smith, Kallis expected to be fit to face NZ

20:57, Dec 10 2012

Proteas skipper Graeme Smith is expected to be fit to front the Black Caps after receiving an injury scare at practice.

Smith took a hefty blow to the elbow while batting in the nets ahead of South Africa's domestic one-day semifinals.

He didn't play in the local match which his Cape Cobras team won.

But fears of a long-term problem have eased and the South African management expect Smith will be ready for the two-test series against New Zealand which starts in Cape Town on January 2.

"Initially, we thought he would recover in time (to play for the Cobras) but because he was in a lot of pain it wasn't worth the risk, especially because he has to be ready to play test cricket in three weeks' time," South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.

Smith, the prolific opening batsman, isn't expected to be involved in the three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand which starts on December 21 because he has had limited involvement in the quick-fire form of the game in recent times.

All-rounder Jacques Kallis is also expected to be fit to play New Zealand as he recovers from a hamstring injury picked up in Australia.

Most of the Proteas squad that triumphed 1-nil over Australia in their recent three-test series to stay ranked No 1 in the world, are now back playing in the South African competition.

South Africa are on a 10-match unbeaten streak in test matches.

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Reuters