South African cricket December 6, 2013

Smith's ODI career seemingly on the wane

Form and injury have combined to give Graeme Smith a forgettable time of late in the one-day game, and it looks like it will be a long road back for him in ODI cricket should he choose to keep at it
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Cullinan: Smith certainly under pressure in ODIs

Graeme Smith's ODI career could be over.

The Test captain was left out of South Africa's XI for the first one-dayer against India in Johannesburg - the first time Smith had been overlooked for strategic reasons rather than injury since relinquishing the 50-overs captaincy after the 2011 World Cup - and the move could signal the end of Smith in coloured clothing.

Smith has not scored an ODI half-century in eight innings, all against Pakistan. His last contribution of significance came in January's home series against New Zealand, when he scored 116 in the only match South Africa won. Before that series, in which Smith also scored a half-century, he had scored one hundred and two fifties in 10 innings in 2012, and there were constant questions over whether he merited a place in the one-day team.

De Villiers admitted that this time, against India, there "just wasn't a spot open" for Smith, in what is the clearest indication yet that patchy form and niggles may catching up with the left-hander, who has been more out of than in South Africa's ODI team recently. Smith missed the Champions Trophy and South Africa's limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka this year with injury, which unsettled a team that was also missing Jacques Kallis.

South Africa went through a painful process of trying to find an opening combination that could match the Smith-Hashim Amla partnership, which averages 41.40 in 48 innings, but could not. Colin Ingram and Hashim Amla managed two half-century stands in four attempts at the Champions Trophy but when Amla was injured for the early stages of the Sri Lanka tour, Ingram unravelled.

Ingram partnered Alviro Petersen for a game without success, then Quinton de Kock was used with Petersen, and then Amla joined de Kock. These two showed promise as a pair, with a stand of 87 in the UAE, but it was still considered a given that when both Smith and Amla were available again, they would be reunited to provide stability.

They played the first two ODIs against Pakistan at home together, and scored 12 and 9. Smith was unavailable for the third game because of the passing of his grandmother, so de Kock was promoted up the order - he was at No. 3 when Smith and Amla opened - to rejoin Amla. They posted 39.

So when it came to a green-top in Johannesburg for the opening game of a series against India, South Africa were faced with a tough choice. They wanted to play the extra seamer so they had to leave a batsman out and that batsman was Smith. "I wanted to play an extra bowler so there just wasn't a space open for him," de Villiers explained.

Statistical evidence in favour of the Amla-de Kock pairing is based on too small a sample for it to top the Amla-Smith pairing, but the numbers are pointing in the right direction. In eight innings as openers, Amla and de Kock have posted 453 runs at 50.33, with one century and two fifty-stands, including South Africa's first opening partnership of more than 100 runs since 2010. More than the numbers, it's the way Amla and de Kock combine that has left the team management keen for them to bat together - as they also do so in T20s.

"There's experience of Hash and the elegance, and then the no-fear attitude of Quinny," de Villiers said. He did, however, leave the door open for Smith, but only in the opening role. "I can't see Graeme batting anywhere else," he said. "He knows I am a captain that is very fond of playing seven frontline batsmen, but tonight we felt an extra seam bowler could be handy."

Andrew Hudson, South Africa's convener selectors, has also mentioned the seven-batsman formula but that would mean allrounder Ryan McLaren being left out. After his performances this year - McLaren is the team's third highest wicket-taker in 2013 despite not playing in all games and has the ability to lengthen the lower middle-order - it would seem a harsh decision.

A return for Smith would also mean de Kock would be shifted out of position, to No. 3. "Quinny has got two kinds of games," de Villiers explained. "He has the ability to accelerate and then pull back like you saw [against India]. I feel he can adapt a bit better than others to No. 3."

Still, for that to happen, Smith will have to find one-day form and that will be difficult for him. He plays very little domestic cricket. He has played in only one List A game since December 2011, for Surrey against Hampshire, and that will remain so until he heads back to the county circuit because South Africa's domestic one-day competition is over.

The Twenty20s event is yet to be played and Smith, along with all the other national players, will be available for their franchises for most of that tournament. Even if Smith excels in it, the question will remain over whether he wants to play limited-overs cricket.

At 32, retirement should be and is a distant thought for Smith but focusing on Tests only - and staying injury-free to honour his deal with Surrey - is not. He does not feature in South Africa's T20 squad - he last played in October 2011 - but it does not seem to be a decision he made himself.

When South Africa crashed out of the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka, again with the batting being their Achilles' Heel, many supporters asked Smith if he had retired from the shortest format. He confirmed he had not and was "available to play all forms of the game". He still is, but whether he gets picked is a different question.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • proteasfire on December 8, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    Smith and Miller cant be compared. Miller is being groomed for the role of finisher while Smith opens the batting and is expected to make big scores more often than not. He has failed in his role miserably in ODIs in recent times and doesnt deserve a spot in this team. Miller on the other side doesnt get chance to bat longer most of the times bcos of where he bats. Miller is an awesome player given he spends longer time at crease. Its SA's coach and senior players responsibility to groom players like Miller and DeKock. They are young and need more exposure at this level. They should be given time. With the kind of talent these two youngsters have, definitely by WC 2015 they would be a force against every opposition. Its worth spending time on youngsters than Smith whose technique and form are not so great in shorter formats. He doesnt deserve a spot in ODIs. Miller like Kings XI coach Gillespie said needs to be persisted with and will come through in flying colors.

  • on December 7, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    I think if ever Smith ha got the opportunity to get back into the form, here it is... He has got cake bowlers from India to cutt, Go smith ;)

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 7, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    I think this is the ideal XI for SA in ODIs:

    de Kock (wk) , Amla, AB, du Plessis, Miller, Behardien, Duminy, Parnell, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir

  • ketaann on December 7, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    smith should be given chances but that will not happen & he too have to end his odi career just becoz of age(32). Ten years later it will be de knock's turn.

  • njaphs on December 7, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    @greatest game. About Parnel being selected over philander. I've noticed a pattern in how selection is made in S.A. South african selectors believe in outright pace. Thats why they have taken so long to even pick philander. If you are a quick fast bowler they will show belief in you early. I don't think they believe in philander. On the other hand the've shown faith in Parnel. Tsotsobe is another example. When he was number one bowler in the world in O.D.I's he was still fighting for a place in longest format of the game. At that time Morkel was struggling for form. But they stuck with Morkel. Its just an observation. Not a criticism.

  • kdevil3 on December 7, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    I believe that Indian selectors are doing good job ..............but looking at indian blowing department & ranji performace doesn't quite tell the same story. Looking at Rishi Dhawan & his consistency he should be there in India team right now when he is in form

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    I think Smith is a far more better batsman than de Kock. Just a couple of hundreds doesn't make de Kock superior over Smith. And again, if you see, in 2013 SA has mostly played Pakistan - the best bowling attack in the world. And even Amla has scored only 1-2 half centuries against Pak. So to blame smith for this is unfair. Also, I haven't seen Miiller do ANYTHING explosive. According to me, he is wasting his time.

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    De cock performed far beeter than smith against Pak. Smith has none contribution of any significance in ODI.............He was a total flop in all 3 WCs that he played & he is the main choker in all imp tournament finals & ICC tournaments

  • Fan_of_test_cricket on December 7, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    I believe Smith will make a strong comeback to ODI cricket. He is just too good a batsman to be overlooked. He is just going through a lean phase of his career. As we all know, form is temporary, class is permanent.

  • Testcricketistop on December 7, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Greatest game, you cannot comlare Miller and Sith.

    The one is an opening batsman who. Has played a couple of hundred ODai's, the other a lower or middle order barsman who comes in when we are mostly having to up the strike rate. And has only played a small percentage of games compared to Smith.

  • proteasfire on December 8, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    Smith and Miller cant be compared. Miller is being groomed for the role of finisher while Smith opens the batting and is expected to make big scores more often than not. He has failed in his role miserably in ODIs in recent times and doesnt deserve a spot in this team. Miller on the other side doesnt get chance to bat longer most of the times bcos of where he bats. Miller is an awesome player given he spends longer time at crease. Its SA's coach and senior players responsibility to groom players like Miller and DeKock. They are young and need more exposure at this level. They should be given time. With the kind of talent these two youngsters have, definitely by WC 2015 they would be a force against every opposition. Its worth spending time on youngsters than Smith whose technique and form are not so great in shorter formats. He doesnt deserve a spot in ODIs. Miller like Kings XI coach Gillespie said needs to be persisted with and will come through in flying colors.

  • on December 7, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    I think if ever Smith ha got the opportunity to get back into the form, here it is... He has got cake bowlers from India to cutt, Go smith ;)

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 7, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    I think this is the ideal XI for SA in ODIs:

    de Kock (wk) , Amla, AB, du Plessis, Miller, Behardien, Duminy, Parnell, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir

  • ketaann on December 7, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    smith should be given chances but that will not happen & he too have to end his odi career just becoz of age(32). Ten years later it will be de knock's turn.

  • njaphs on December 7, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    @greatest game. About Parnel being selected over philander. I've noticed a pattern in how selection is made in S.A. South african selectors believe in outright pace. Thats why they have taken so long to even pick philander. If you are a quick fast bowler they will show belief in you early. I don't think they believe in philander. On the other hand the've shown faith in Parnel. Tsotsobe is another example. When he was number one bowler in the world in O.D.I's he was still fighting for a place in longest format of the game. At that time Morkel was struggling for form. But they stuck with Morkel. Its just an observation. Not a criticism.

  • kdevil3 on December 7, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    I believe that Indian selectors are doing good job ..............but looking at indian blowing department & ranji performace doesn't quite tell the same story. Looking at Rishi Dhawan & his consistency he should be there in India team right now when he is in form

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    I think Smith is a far more better batsman than de Kock. Just a couple of hundreds doesn't make de Kock superior over Smith. And again, if you see, in 2013 SA has mostly played Pakistan - the best bowling attack in the world. And even Amla has scored only 1-2 half centuries against Pak. So to blame smith for this is unfair. Also, I haven't seen Miiller do ANYTHING explosive. According to me, he is wasting his time.

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    De cock performed far beeter than smith against Pak. Smith has none contribution of any significance in ODI.............He was a total flop in all 3 WCs that he played & he is the main choker in all imp tournament finals & ICC tournaments

  • Fan_of_test_cricket on December 7, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    I believe Smith will make a strong comeback to ODI cricket. He is just too good a batsman to be overlooked. He is just going through a lean phase of his career. As we all know, form is temporary, class is permanent.

  • Testcricketistop on December 7, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Greatest game, you cannot comlare Miller and Sith.

    The one is an opening batsman who. Has played a couple of hundred ODai's, the other a lower or middle order barsman who comes in when we are mostly having to up the strike rate. And has only played a small percentage of games compared to Smith.

  • Shiny-Side on December 7, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    De Kock must open. I would much rather have Smith (or Amla) bat at 3. If an early wicket falls, he is the ideal guy to come in and steady the ship.

  • on December 7, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    truth is always difficult.smith done a lot for the africans.but right at this moment smith should retire from ODI & carry on the test only.

  • Greatest_Game on December 7, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    The ODI team needs an amount of flexibility. Not the Kirsten bend & twist it to death flexibility, but a nucleus that covers all conditions, from quick tracks to rank turners in India.

    I was really happy with the team selection - except Parnell. How he is picked before Philander I will never understand. However, on a turning track SA have problems, and Smith can play spin - well. He also does not need to open. He can bat down the order too! SA's fragile order needs cooler heads lower down.

    Miller can be explosive, but rarely is - he averages 30 after 38 matches, which is poor. Smith averages 38 - not great, but a lot better that 30!

    An important point to remember: from the 08/09 Aus tour to the 2011 World Cup, SA's ODI team's Win/Loss ratio was 2.06. After Kirsten & de Villiers took over, the W/L ration has been 1. This team has been HALF AS GOOD as the "old school mentality" team that Unomaas criticizes. Fact is, the "outdated" team WON, and WON big. The "modern" team were losers!

  • on December 7, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    He sure can comeback. The question is, if he comes back and become an automatic choice for opening slot, can de Kock adjust well?

  • greatshinwari on December 7, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    he needs some time..Smith is one the best batsman in SA batting line up..team needs him for atleast 4 years more..he is experienced and well determined....

  • Testcricketistop on December 7, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    I have no issue with Smith not being selected for ODI's, there comes a time when youngsters out perform the elder "statesmen" and it seems that time has come.

    With Amla, de Kock, AB and Miller we have a strong nucleus.

    Now it is time to put pressure on Kallis, if he doesn't succeed then sadly it is time for him to be dropped from the ODI team as well.

  • on December 7, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    South Africa without smith in odi==far better side. Why? because smith has been struggling badly with his form lately and the this very reason he gives his wicket away almost every game inside first 5 overs. Which puts immense pressure on south Africa and they eventually capitulate. I have already posted the other day that smith should concentrate more on tests and retire from odis. It is best for team and himself that way. South africa on the other hand can play extra batsmen like ingram who has showed great potential against srilanka and pakistan recently when he was given chances.. i feel he must be given more chances so that he can succeed like how de kock has done now. De kock was utter failure before, but he evolved into a very fine batsmen now. Hope Cricket South Africa is listening!

  • Desihungama on December 7, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Graeme Smith is too class of a batsman to have his ODI career in jeopardy. He has had a long break from cricket and he just got caught in with some good Pakistani bowling. Give him a series or two and he will find his form. This is not to suggest that De Kock should not be in playing eleven.

  • NXT_Gen on December 7, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    It's true that Smith isn't performing the way he does in Tests recently. But Smith's ability to captain a side can't be questioned. When Shaun Pollock stepped down from captaincy after 03 WC, Smith was ready to captain at very early age and he really brought the team from ridiculous slump which SA could have faced. Of current gen he is the greatest leader after Ponting/Waugh. I think he is the only captain to win twice against ENG(one drawn too) & AUS away from home in Test matches. But ODI is different format and one has to accept that Smith can't produce consistent run in ODIs anymore and he can't accelerate at the top. Better captain will understand what team needs for future. Smith will accept the current situation and will move on from Shorter formats. If CSA could manage to keep him in Tests for at least 6-7 years, South Africa will remain at the top forever including 2017 Test Championship. Good luck Smith for the future!

  • VVSR92 on December 7, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    Smith needs to score some runs and he would be fine

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on December 7, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    Yes Smith should get retirement. From one day cricket . He is not fit any more in ODI team.,,,,,,so do not waste time and somebody,s talent. Good luck

  • proteasfire on December 7, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    Its a well known fact that Smith hasnt performed well enough in ODIs recently to retain his spot. He has been struggling to make runs at the top and with the promise shown by DeKock its a good decision to drop Smith in ODIs. The top six of Amla, DeKock, Kallis, AB, JP and Miller looks solid. SA can include McLaren and Philander (in place of Parnell) in #7 and #8 and thats the great eleven they can have. Smith can continue playing tests but ODI is no longer his forte and its a good decision for the team.

  • SCC08 on December 6, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast - maybe we should also drop Dale Steyn for Aya Gqamane , AB for Thami Tsolokile, Tahir for Phangiso, Morkel for Mbalathi, Amla for Zondo, Duminy for Ramela, Vern for Leie, Kallis for Siboto and while we at it, let's drop the coach to! Toyana in for Domingo!! Will that make you happy? You perfect pretty black team!

  • Unomaas on December 6, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Far from being a negative, this is good for the team. Smith, Kallis and Boucher represent the old school mindset of SA and if you are knowledgeable of SA cricket politics, you will also know that those 3 voices were the dominant voices in policy, decision making and culture which are still relevant for the test team yet outdated for the T20 & ODI scene. I would be happier if we put Kallis on notice as well and tell him...perform or face the risk of loosing his place to Faf/Ingram/Elgar.

    I like AB/Faf's attitude to our game short game. They are facing the cricket head on...no excuses but best of all, they are inverting the SA cricket mindset from one of conservative experimentation to aggressive flare which is a totally radical turn around on the national mindset. I would rather have our team go down in flames trying something new than meekly surrendering with our old SA cricket ideas. SA cricket needs to change and we need to start with putting of trust in AB's vision for the future.

  • GoCho on December 6, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Biff should get 1-2 matches against India before they fly back. The list of batsmen who have found their confidence/form back after feasting on mediocre Indian attacks is a long one!

  • SamWintson92 on December 6, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    On another front, the table has certainly turned. I remember once Smith said the same thing ''there isn't a spot open for him'' for Shaun Pollock. Smith was responsible for the drop of Shaun Pollock in tests & he used him as changed bowler. Many years after Smith is getting his words back from current captain De Villiers that ''there isn't a spot open for him''. Life is such ! Shaun Pollock should be asked about his opinion on the current condition of Smith.

  • on December 6, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Dear Firdose,

    I think you are a good cricket analyst and I always make a point of reading your columns. Please continue to write about cricket as I appreciate your work.

    Steven Lang

  • Batmanindallas on December 6, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    I think Smith and Kallis were some of the reason SA lost to Pakistan. I know SA still thinks of Kallis as a matchwinner but he like Smith is holding them back

  • Frayninho21 on December 6, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I think it's very unwise to write off Graeme Smith as an ODI player. He has shown throughout his career that he is willing to scrap and fight to achieve memorable feats in the South African shirt. Smith will get back in to the ODI side and I fully expect him to be at the top of the order at WC2015.

  • on December 6, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Smith should do the honourable thing & RETIRE from T20's & ODI's. Give de Kock & Amla a chance to develop. Smith is a poor fielder too. He is past his prime now. De Villires, Domingo & Hudson (Convenor of Selectors) must tell Smith in no uncertain terms that the future of SA Cricket lies with the Amla/De Kock opening the innings, period!

  • SamWintson92 on December 6, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    It's very easy to write off a player but difficult to establish a player of the caliber of Smith. Smith has close to 7000 runs in ODIs with 47 50s & 10 centuries. He also averages over 30 in T20Is & T20s. He has played some great innings in shorter formats over the years. Problem is that people remember the recent time only, not what he has done in overall time span. Let me make it very clear. Graeme Smith didn't feature in the shorter formats sufficiently in the last few years. The main problem is his injury kept him out of shorter formats most of the time. He somehow manages to get fit in time for the tests & as he featured in tests on a regular basis, his recent record in tests is pretty good. Remember the massive 234 runs he made against Pak. As he was getting injured, he couldn't play ODIs regularly, played 1 or 2 ODIs once in a while mostly didn't perform as he wasn't settled. Smith should be given 5 straight ODIs & 3 T20Is to perform. Otherwise it won't be justice for Smith.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 6, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    If Smith is selected and de Kock is dropped it will be completely outrageous. Smith is a quality Test bat but an average ODI player and a non-existant T20 player. He struggles to accelerate an innings. Now they are talking about breaking a successful partnership in Amla / De Kock to accommodate Smith. This is ridiculous. And please stop lumping Smith and Kallis together in terms of retirement talk from ODIs. Kallis still plays good IPL and ODI cricket while Smith is past it. He should've been removed years ago from the ODI squad.

  • cooljack_143 on December 6, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Going with all seam options might hurt SAF's at some point of time.You should be lucky enough that those catches against De kock & Amla were dropped,else I wouldn't see this team scoring more than 250.That wasn't Duminy's kind of play,usually he likes to solidify the middle order more than what we saw of him. If Ind can hold on to their catches in the coming matches, you don't have to blame Ind bowling.That Virat Kohli catch by kallis was turning point of the game had it been Virat himself in that catching position we all have seen vs WI how he dropped dollys..Thats the difference in the teams today(experience). I hope Ind will come back and take their chances in the field even if its a half chance.

  • SurlyCynic on December 6, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    I agree, Smith's ODI career is over. Even at his peak he was never the most fluent ODI batsman, De Kock and Amla are the perfect opening combination. Smith must stick to tests.

    @ ZCFOutkast : Another classy comment from you, well done. Today of all days.

  • on December 6, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I was saying this just yesterday. SA should consider dropping Smith. He was once a very good limited overs cricketer, but his recent form has been pretty ordinary. SA should now open with De Kock and Amla.

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  • on December 6, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I was saying this just yesterday. SA should consider dropping Smith. He was once a very good limited overs cricketer, but his recent form has been pretty ordinary. SA should now open with De Kock and Amla.

  • SurlyCynic on December 6, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    I agree, Smith's ODI career is over. Even at his peak he was never the most fluent ODI batsman, De Kock and Amla are the perfect opening combination. Smith must stick to tests.

    @ ZCFOutkast : Another classy comment from you, well done. Today of all days.

  • cooljack_143 on December 6, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Going with all seam options might hurt SAF's at some point of time.You should be lucky enough that those catches against De kock & Amla were dropped,else I wouldn't see this team scoring more than 250.That wasn't Duminy's kind of play,usually he likes to solidify the middle order more than what we saw of him. If Ind can hold on to their catches in the coming matches, you don't have to blame Ind bowling.That Virat Kohli catch by kallis was turning point of the game had it been Virat himself in that catching position we all have seen vs WI how he dropped dollys..Thats the difference in the teams today(experience). I hope Ind will come back and take their chances in the field even if its a half chance.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 6, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    If Smith is selected and de Kock is dropped it will be completely outrageous. Smith is a quality Test bat but an average ODI player and a non-existant T20 player. He struggles to accelerate an innings. Now they are talking about breaking a successful partnership in Amla / De Kock to accommodate Smith. This is ridiculous. And please stop lumping Smith and Kallis together in terms of retirement talk from ODIs. Kallis still plays good IPL and ODI cricket while Smith is past it. He should've been removed years ago from the ODI squad.

  • SamWintson92 on December 6, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    It's very easy to write off a player but difficult to establish a player of the caliber of Smith. Smith has close to 7000 runs in ODIs with 47 50s & 10 centuries. He also averages over 30 in T20Is & T20s. He has played some great innings in shorter formats over the years. Problem is that people remember the recent time only, not what he has done in overall time span. Let me make it very clear. Graeme Smith didn't feature in the shorter formats sufficiently in the last few years. The main problem is his injury kept him out of shorter formats most of the time. He somehow manages to get fit in time for the tests & as he featured in tests on a regular basis, his recent record in tests is pretty good. Remember the massive 234 runs he made against Pak. As he was getting injured, he couldn't play ODIs regularly, played 1 or 2 ODIs once in a while mostly didn't perform as he wasn't settled. Smith should be given 5 straight ODIs & 3 T20Is to perform. Otherwise it won't be justice for Smith.

  • on December 6, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Smith should do the honourable thing & RETIRE from T20's & ODI's. Give de Kock & Amla a chance to develop. Smith is a poor fielder too. He is past his prime now. De Villires, Domingo & Hudson (Convenor of Selectors) must tell Smith in no uncertain terms that the future of SA Cricket lies with the Amla/De Kock opening the innings, period!

  • Frayninho21 on December 6, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I think it's very unwise to write off Graeme Smith as an ODI player. He has shown throughout his career that he is willing to scrap and fight to achieve memorable feats in the South African shirt. Smith will get back in to the ODI side and I fully expect him to be at the top of the order at WC2015.

  • Batmanindallas on December 6, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    I think Smith and Kallis were some of the reason SA lost to Pakistan. I know SA still thinks of Kallis as a matchwinner but he like Smith is holding them back

  • on December 6, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Dear Firdose,

    I think you are a good cricket analyst and I always make a point of reading your columns. Please continue to write about cricket as I appreciate your work.

    Steven Lang

  • SamWintson92 on December 6, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    On another front, the table has certainly turned. I remember once Smith said the same thing ''there isn't a spot open for him'' for Shaun Pollock. Smith was responsible for the drop of Shaun Pollock in tests & he used him as changed bowler. Many years after Smith is getting his words back from current captain De Villiers that ''there isn't a spot open for him''. Life is such ! Shaun Pollock should be asked about his opinion on the current condition of Smith.