Full name Graeme Craig Smith
Born February 1, 1981, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Current age 34 years 177 days
Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Cape Cobras, Gauteng, Hampshire Cricket Board, ICC World XI, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Somerset, Surrey, Western Province
Playing role Opening batsman
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
|Test debut||South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Mar 8-12, 2002 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Mar 1-5, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||South Africa v Australia at Bloemfontein, Mar 30, 2002 scorecard|
|Last ODI||South Africa v Pakistan at Port Elizabeth, Nov 27, 2013 scorecard|
|T20I debut||South Africa v New Zealand at Johannesburg, Oct 21, 2005 scorecard|
|Last T20I||South Africa v Australia at Johannesburg, Oct 16, 2011 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Surrey v Gloucestershire at The Oval, May 11-14, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||1999/00|
|Last List A||South Africa v Pakistan at Port Elizabeth, Nov 27, 2013 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Western Province Boland v Dolphins at Cape Town, Apr 7, 2004 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Somerset v Surrey at Taunton, May 18, 2014 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|20||Surrey||v Somerset||Taunton||18 May 2014||T20|
|7||Surrey||v Sussex||Hove||16 May 2014||T20|
|14, 103||Surrey||v Gloucs||The Oval||11 May 2014||FC|
|3, 38||Surrey||v Kent||Canterbury||4 May 2014||FC|
|3||Surrey||v Hampshire||Southampton||27 Apr 2014||FC|
|65||Surrey||v Essex||The Oval||20 Apr 2014||FC|
|19, 18||Surrey||v Glamorgan||The Oval||6 Apr 2014||FC|
|5, 3||South Africa||v Australia||Cape Town||1 Mar 2014||Test # 2122|
|9, 14||South Africa||v Australia||Port Elizabeth||20 Feb 2014||Test # 2121|
|10, 4||South Africa||v Australia||Centurion||12 Feb 2014||Test # 2119|
Meaty, muscular and mighty, that's Graeme Smith, who looms even larger than all that as South Africa's colossus of a captain. His achievements as a batsman are significant, but the most important monument to his career is the fact that under Smith, the confidence of South Africans, both within and outside of the national team and its structures, has been rebuilt.
Smith's leadership and his batting are all about being direct and upfront. The subtleties of captaincy have grown into his game, but he is still at his most comfortable surging once more unto the breach himself with a cursory backward glance to see if his men are following.
His batting is similarly forthright: anything bowled near his pads will be sent screaming through midwicket. Anything drivable on the off-side will be driven, brutally, often inelegantly, but always effectively. Square of jaw and shoulder, they don't call him "Biff" for nothing. With Smith, what you see really is what you get.
Smith can hardly be blamed for doing things his own way. He was, after all, handed the reins at 22 - which made him his country's youngest captain - and tasked with rebuilding South Africans' faith in the integrity of game itself. That precious jewel had been shattered by Hansie Cronje's immoral greed and it was not restored completely under Shaun Pollock's sincere but undemonstrative leadership.
If Pollock was too maturely minded a captain for South African sensibilities, Smith was spot on: an overgrown schoolyard bully of the nicest possible type who would just as soon take a (verbal) swing at an opponent as buy him a beer. After the game, of course.
The double centuries Smith scored in his 11th and 12th Tests, and just his third and fourth as captain, in England in 2003 made for an ironclad argument to retain his overtly direct approach to getting the job done. Those were his early days in charge, but arguably his greatest triumph came much later, when he led South Africa to their first Test series victory in Australia, in 2008-09. Through all his Test triumphs, though, he still couldn't get his hands on a chunk of ICC silverware, a prize that has eluded South Africa since 1998.
After the third day's play of the third Test against Australia at Newlands in March 2014, Smith told his team-mates the ongoing match would be his last as an international cricketer. It was also his leanest series of his career. Smith scored just 45 runs in six innings and admitted having retirement at the back of his mind contributed to the lack of form. He chose to pull stumps on his home ground and said captaining South Africa was nothing less than a "privilege."
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2004
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