sport

Smith optimistic over Kallis

South Africa captain Graeme Smith is optimistic Jacques Kallis will be passed fit for the third Test against Australia in Perth.

Kallis broke down with a hamstring injury early in his first spell during the Adelaide Test, but Smith revealed the 37-year-old is desperate to play at least some role in the series decider.

"Kallis has no chance to bowl," he said. "But hopefully when we wake up tomorrow morning, he'll be ready to go. That would be nice.

"Jacques is immense and he's batting really well at the moment, he's shown that in this series.

"His experience and his record speaks for itself and to have him at number four for us definitely gives us a lot of batting strength and the solid nature of what he brings to our top six is crucial for us.

"We will do everything possible to get him fit and mentally he's hungry to play, he's shown that in the way he's gone about his rehab.

"He wants to get on the park and perform and that's great for us."

Paceman Vernon Philander is expected to return after recovering from the back problem that ruled him out of the Adelaide Test.

While acknowledging that his bowling attack hasn't been at it best in the series to date, Smith backed them to come good at the WACA.

"I think it's fair to say that we haven't been able to string good enough performances together for long enough," he said.

"We've bowled well in patches, but we haven't been able to do it for long enough.

"I think the wickets have been good but we haven't stacked up enough wickets together and often enough.

"I think our bowlers will take a bit of confidence out of the fact that we were able to create some opportunities in Adelaide, but for us it's about getting it right now over the next five days.

"We certainly know we've got that capability and hopefully it will all click for us over the next five days."

In terms of his spin options, Smith said Imran Tahir is still reeling from returning disastrous figures of nought for 260 in the second test and that Robin Peterson will almost certainly get the nod should a slow bowler be included in the visitors' XI.

"I think Robbie will come into contention," he said.

"Imran in his own admittance hasn't performed that well over the last Test match and I think his confidence is a little bit low.

"Our job is to rebuild that and give him some direction going back to South Africa now in terms of the role he's going to play and how he can get back to hopefully performing at his best."