Smith rewrites record books
Cape Town - Graeme Smith returned to South Africa with yet another series victory as captain of South Africa - and is now only six wins behind the world-record of most Test wins as captain set by Australia’s Ricky Ponting.
This has put him in a special category featuring some of the world’s cricket leaders, as he continues to break new records and set new standards.
On Day 1 of the third and final Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve, Smith scored his 8 000th Test run, becoming the second South African to pass the figure after Jacques Kallis.
Smith was the leading run-scorer in the series against New Zealand with 282 runs at an average 56.40, including a century and two fifties.
Smith averages 49.64 after 99 Test matches.
Proteas coach Gary Kirsten explains the reason behind Smith's success: “Graeme has impressive mental capabilities, he is one of the tougher cricketers that I have played and worked with, both mentally and physically. He is courageous and is naturally born to lead, and he has used those qualities to pave his way in world cricket.
“He may not be the best looking cricketer out there but he has worked hard for every run that he has scored and that is why he has reaped the type of success while playing the game and leading South Africa.”
The same technique that has left spectators whispering incredulously match after match has helped him rake up four double centuries, and 24 Test hundreds, putting him second on the list of South African centurions.
He is the fourth youngest player to reach 8 000 Test runs, and of those, 7 811 have been scored as an opener, which makes him one of the most successful openers of the 21st century. Matthew Hayden is the only modern day cricketer ahead of him on the list.
The drawn match at the Basin Reserve was his 91st in charge, which makes him certain to pass Allan Borders long-standing record of 93 matches during the tour of England in July.