Captaincy Mastermind: Assessing Graeme Smith's Record Amongst Test Cricket's Greatest Captains

Graeme Smith publicly announced his retirement from international cricket in March 2014 after leading his side against Australia at home. At that time he had already played 347 matches for his country. Plus, his canniest captaincy tactics have helped South Africa secure many formidable test wins all over the world.

Graeme Smith’s records as a captain speak highly about his surface-level analytical skills. His team registered a record 48% success out of 117 tests played worldwide and most importantly the players beamed with confidence. 

Many situations tested Smith’s credibility as a captain. Nevertheless, throughout the period he stood equally well against almost all the challenges thus establishing his image as a strong leader. 

Reasons Why Graeme Smith's Stats is Revered So Much

Winning a test match is always a special feeling for players and is sometimes even held equivalent to ODI series victories. In this format, both the fans and the players experience the truest essence of the game where each session turns out to be crucial.  Hence, naturally, the expectations from a test match skipper stay a lot higher. 

The player in charge must decide the ideal batting order seeing the on-field conditions. Also, he must come up with a strategic bowling sequence and decide whether to run the course of the game aggressively or defensively. 

Besides these, he must handle the media’s subjective evaluations, provided a particular day goes against his plans. Thus, there’s no denying the fact that Graeme Smith’s test career as a captain is clearly a stand apart. He inspired the Protean squad to achieve unforgettable collective conquests for more than 100 games, a record untouched by any test captain. 

Highlights of Top 5 Most Successful Captains in Test Cricket

Graeme Smith’s debut match against Australia marked his influence in world cricket. In that match, the left-handed batsman came up with a hard-fought 68 in South Africa’s second innings. Only 12 games later, at the age of 22, he assumed captaincy only to end up as the most successful leader in test cricket. 

Here are his test captaincy stats compared to other highly successful skippers:

Player Name Matches as a Captain Won Lost Draw Win Percentage
Graeme Smith (South Africa) 109 53 29 27 48.62
Ricky Ponting (Australia) 77 48 16 13 62.33
Steve Waugh (Australia) 57 41 9 7 71.92
Virat Kohli (India) 68 40 17 11 58.82
Clive Lloyd (West Indies) 74 36 12 26 48.64

Although you see some of the players securing a greater win percentage as a captain, what is most admired about Smith is his longevity as a leader. 

In fact, Graeme Smith’s news about his retirement at 33 came out as a shock. However, it is thought by many as an impending decision because of his struggles from a persistent ankle injury. 

While discussing the success of Graeme Smith, many tend to run off with his merit saying he was fortunate enough to consistently lead great squads. Nevertheless, tracking back to the results he managed to carve out against equally strong or even mightier opponents, there's no way to support such debates. The extraordinary numbers both as an opener and a captain make Smith a true legend of the game. 

What is Graeme Smith’s latest news?
As per a report published by the Economic Times, Graeme Smith is now free from racism allegations. The former skipper was accused of not selecting several black players in the national squad ahead of their domestic tour against Australia.
What about Graeme Smith’s IPL career?
Graeme Smith played three seasons of the Indian Premier League representing Rajasthan Royals. 
What is Graeme Smith’s jersey number?
Graeme Smith won jersey number 15 throughout most of his international career. 
What is the total number of Graeme Smith’s ODI centuries?
Graeme Smith has scored 10 centuries throughout his one-day career.