Smith can be best-ever South Africa captain: Ali Bacher

February 25th, 2009 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 25 (IANS) Former South African cricket captain Ali Bacher feels that Graeme Smith could be the country’s best ever skipper.
In his column in The Mercury, Bacher, himself a former captain, said that Smith always leads from the front and has done that with distinction since he was appointed captain six years ago at the age of 22.

“I believe that tactically he has become a very good captain - as good as this country has produced. Indeed, in the next few years he could well become the best we’ve ever had. Importantly, he leads from the front and therefore has the full support of his team,” he said.

“Two things impressed me - firstly, the pride and passion that he expressed in playing for and being asked to captain South Africa, and secondly, his express desire to restore honesty and integrity to the game in the wake of the King Commission into match fixing,” he said.

Bacher, who lead South Africa to a 4-0 whitewash against Australia in 1970, said that mentally Smith is very tough and is also the best player on the on-side.

“As an on-side player, they don’t come any better. He occasionally plays across the line - but so did Bradman - and he obviously has a very good eye. The fact that South African cricket is on a high has a lot to do with the contribution of Graeme Smith,” said Bacher.

He also said that Smith should promote cricket at grass roots level, at both the disadvantaged and advantaged levels, notwithstanding their onerous cricket commitments.

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