Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia batsman Steven Smith has revealed that captaining his country is “something that I’ve always dreamt of doing”.
Smith’s comments come after he was appointed as Australia’s stand-in captain for the remainder of the Test series against India.
Smith was handed the reins after regular skipper Michael Clarke was ruled out for the rest of the Test series after he tore his hamstring and injured his back during the first Test in Adelaide.
“It’s obviously been a pretty whirlwind 18 months for me personally, and for the team as well,” Smith said. “For this to come up so quickly, it’s an amazing thrill. It’s something that I’ve always dreamt of doing. To now have the opportunity to lead Australia in a Test match and the rest of this series, it’s an amazing thrill.”
Even though Smith has captained New South Wales and the Sydney Sixers in the past, he noted that this will be a entirely different kind of challenge.
“I’ve had a bit of leadership experience with New South Wales and the Sydney Sixers,” he said. “I know at the Sixers I had some older heads there with Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill. To lead those guys was a big thrill for me. I know coming out at the Gabba, our senior guys will support me 100%, and Brad Haddin, who I’m very close with, as the vice-captain will be right behind me.
“I’m extremely close to Brad and when I told him yesterday that Rod called me, I think he knew what was going on. He’s over the moon for me, he’s proud as punch. I’m certainly going to look to Brad out there as Michael always does. He’s a terrific team man and he’s got a great cricket brain as well. He’s certainly someone I can lean on out in the middle as well.
“When I’m just a player on the field I have my brain thinking as a captain all the time about the situation needs. Sometimes I throw thoughts over to Michael or Brad. I have had the leadership experience with New South Wales and the Sixers and been quite successful. It is a different kettle of fish with Australia but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Smith also revealed that his hundred against South Africa in Centurion this year was the knock that really made him feel at home in Australia’s Test team.
“My hundred I scored at Centurion against the South Africa team was a big eye-opener for me,” he said. “They were arguably the best attack in the world, and in their conditions, to be able to score a hundred there under a bit of pressure with the circumstance we were in was pretty special. Ever since that moment it’s gone uphill from there and hopefully it continues to be that way.
“I think patience is the biggest word for me. I go out there now and don’t look to try to hit every single ball to the fence. I think when I first started I was probably a bit too aggressive and now I know I can bat a lot of time and just be patient. So, particularly on a wicket like the Gabba out here, you can let a lot of balls go on a length and when you get in on a wicket like this it’s beautiful to bat on.”
Speaking about the second Test against India, which will get underway on December 17 in Brisbane, Smith made it clear that intends to keep Clarke’s aggressive style of captaincy alive.
“I said to the boys this morning that I had no intention of changing any plans of anything we’ve been doing over the past 18 months,” Smith said. “We’ve come a long way and we’ve been playing some very good cricket and we’re going to continue playing that aggressive, positive brand of cricket.”