Proteas in England
Smith on the verge of history
Cape Town - Graeme Smith will become the most capped Test captain in the history of the game when he leads the Proteas for the 94th time in the third Investec Test match starting at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Thursday. Smith will pass the record set by Australia’s Allan Border in 1994.
It has been a bittersweet journey for Smith; he started out under the close scrutiny of the public where he was often portrayed as the villain in the script, but eight years on he casts a mature figure, respected and admired on the International stage.
“His birth into the captaincy role was a difficult one,” commented Jacques Kallis, who has shared the change-room with Smith for 10 years. “ I think the way that he handled the pressure, both from the public and media, is a true reflection of his character. He is someone who never backs down when he sets his sights on a goal.”
Smith also has a favourable win-loss ratio in comparison to other world leaders, and is also on the brink of leading his side to the No.1 Test spot. His strategic thinking, quiet confidence and the recent positive declaration at Headingley are traits of his captaincy that have been praised, giving him an edge over his counterparts.
“I have been impressed with his out-of-the-box thinking when it come to his captaincy,” coach, Gary Kirsten said. “He commands a lot of respect and admiration from everyone that enters the team environment and that says a lot about the individual.
“He has been humble about his achievements and personally I feel he has been one of the most significant and often under-rated players of South African cricket. The sacrifices he has made and the hard work he has put in during his career makes him one of a kind.”
The closest current captain nearest to Smith on the list is England’s Andrew Strauss, who is currently on 49 matches.