Smith not happy with Aiden Markram captaincy decision
Mumbai :Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith doesn’t approve of Cricket South Africa’s decision of appointing Aiden Markram as captain for the six-game ODI series after regular captain Faf du Plessis was ruled out on account of injury.
South Africa lost the series 5-1 and for large parts of the rubber, 23-year-old Markram struggled both as a batsman — 127 runs in six matches at an average of 21.16 with the highest score of 32 — and as a leader of the side.
Smith, one of the longest-serving Test captains in history after being handed the captaincy at the age of 22 in 2003, spoke of South Africa’s decision to make Markram captain in an unfavorable way.
“I don’t think it was the right decision,” Smith told ESPNcricinfo.
“Everyone has been talking about his leadership. Probably coming from me that doesn’t make sense because I got given the job at a very young age.
“I think it was an interim thing, not a full-time thing. I would have rather have had him find his place, find his feet within the one-day set-up, try and get runs behind him. South Africa need players to step up and perform.
“I think in the short term, with AB coming in after three games he could have stepped in, and they could have looked at Duminy or Amla in the first couple and allowed someone like Markram just to settle.
One, he was batting out of position at No. 4 at the start of the series, something he had to come to terms with, and then you’ve piled him under pressure not only on his own game but also as a captain. He would have gained a lot experience-wise but let’s just hope his confidence hasn’t taken a dent.
“His performances since the start of his career say that he can bat at this level. He’s obviously got the leadership credentials from Under-19, he’s spoken highly as a personality and as a person mature for his age.
“But I just think allowing him to grow and develop and become a strong player within the line-up, we are talking about the next-tier of cricketers. There’s a drop-off between maybe four or five senior players and the next tier. So, allow those guys to develop.
“What was disappointing for me was that I don’t think the other senior players stepped up around him – the Amlas, Duminys, Millers, those guys just never got it going from a performance perspective, an intensity perspective. They needed to get behind and lead the way almost,” he added.