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Proteas make Swiss trip to prepare for England

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South Africa captain Graeme Smith will play his 100th test at the Oval. -File photo

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's trip to Switzerland will hopefully help their players bond ahead of the showdown tour to England, according to coach Gary Kirsten.

The squad left Johannesburg on Monday and will spend three full days in Switzerland before arriving in England on Friday.

“We'll have 17 days together as a team before the first test at The Oval on July 19 and we just wanted to cover all our bases,” Kirsten told reporters.

“We'll be playing against a very high quality team so we really need to connect as a unit. The series might well boil down to a couple of crucial moments and we want to make sure that we are up for those.”

South Africa captain Graeme Smith will play his 100th test at the Oval.

Smith said beating England in the series and reclaiming top spot in the world rankings were his prime motivations.

“I'm obviously extremely proud to have the opportunity to play 100 tests for my country and my motivation is the same as it was on my first tour of England,” said the opening batsman.

“We don't need much more motivation than beating England in England.”

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