Smith keen to stay No.1 in Test cricket rankings with win against Kiwis

Johannesburg, Dec 7(ANI): South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said they are eager to extend their lead at the top of the Test rankings when they face New Zealand in a home series.

Smith's men earlier this week extended their lead atop the ICC rankings with a 1-0 series win in Australia.

The Proteas now have 123 points i.e. six ahead of second placed England and nine ahead of Australia in third.

"We are enjoying the opportunity to be here (at No 1). We have worked hard to be here and we knew that Australia would be the big stepping stone for us holding onto number one (ranking)," Sports24 quoted Smith, as saying to a cricket website.

"We have given ourselves the opportunity for our home summer to create a bit of a gap between us and the other teams. It is an opportunity to build something really special. The motivation for us will be to beat New Zealand first up," he added.

New Zealand start their clashes against South Africa with three T20 internationals on 21,23 and 26 December, followed by two Tests (2-6 January and 11-15 January) and three one-day internationals (January 19,22 and 25).

After the New Zealand tour, the Proteas will host Pakistan in three Tests, two T20 internationals and five ODIs. (ANI)