New Zealand in SA

Smith's ODI role pivotal for SA

2013-01-27 11:59
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Graeme Smith’s role in the Proteas’ ODI squad extends to more than his contributions with the bat and on the field, with the former ODI captain also sharing his vast knowledge behind the scenes.

Smith was the leading run-scorer of the three-match series against New Zealand with 189 runs, and says the series was a good experience for the younger players to develop and grow in their roles, especially looking ahead to the future.

“I would have loved them to do well, it would have given them a lot of confidence,” Smith said of the younger players. “I’ve been playing a bit of a mentoring role behind the scenes, talking to them, talking cricket and situations, maybe the mistakes that they have made and where they can learn from them.

VIDEO: Proteas v Black Caps 3rd ODI - Highlights

“I must be honest, the young guys were very keen to learn; they approached me all the time looking for information so that really made my life easier. I have a good relationship with them, a lot of the guys I’ve seen for a few years now, they have come in and out, it was nice to see them getting opportunities.”

Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the joint-leading wicket taker of the series alongside Ryan McLaren with eight wickets, but had the better average of the two. Colin Ingram also made good use of his opportunity, finishing with 133 runs, slotting in at the important No 3 role.

Smith, who captained the ODI squad from 2003 to 2011, says it was a disappointment to lose the series against the ninth-ranked Kiwis, especially after the Proteas squandered match-winning positions in the first two ODI’s in Paarl and Kimberley.

“The disappointing thing for me was that we should have won both the first two games and we didn’t,” Smith said. “As a team we need to take responsibility for that and improve, tonight (Friday) was a nice opportunity for us to get over the line.”

The last-ball win in Potchefstroom on Friday night will give the ODI squad vital momentum heading into the five-match series against Pakistan in March, which will see the return of AB de Villiers as captain, the injured Hashim Amla, Robin Peterson and the rested Morne Morkel.

“We needed this win to lift the confidence and to change the momentum for us as a squad,” he added. “We have an important series coming up against Pakistan and after that it’s the ICC Champions Trophy. The next few matches are very important for us as a squad, and winning this match will go a long way.”

 Smith is approaching a significant milestone, and is set to become the first player in the history of the game to captain a side in 100 Test matches when he leads the Proteas in the first Test against Pakistan on Friday.  

Read more on:    proteas  |  nz in sa  |  graeme smith  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

03 December 2015
India v South Africa, Delhi 06:00
26 December 2015
South Africa v England, Durban 10:00
02 January 2016
South Africa v England, Cape Town 10:30
Previous Results

Date Match Result

The Proteas have crashed to their first-ever ODI series defeat against New Zealand at home. The main reason was... ?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.