GRAEME SMITH is both South Africa’s youngest captain and its most successful captain of all time. Throughout his career he has maintained a Test batting average around the 50 mark and an ODI average of 40 in spite of the added responsibilities of leadership.
He is the only South African to have scored four Test double centuries. Two of those centuries were scored in back-to-back Test matches in England in 2003 when he made the then SA record score of 277 at Edgbaston and 259 at Lord’s, the highest Test score by a foreign batsman at this venue.
His captaincy career reached a zenith in 2008 when he led the Proteas to away Test series victories in England and Australia in the space of 6 months. He played a series-clinching innings at Edgbaston where his unbeaten 150 was one of the top 10 fourth innings scores in a successful runs chase of all time. This led to his being named SA Cricketer of the Year for 2009.
More recently he has joined the elite list of captains who have won back-to-back Test series in England during the 2012 tour. That tour also marked his 100th Test match appearance and saw him go past Allan Border of Australia as the most capped captain of all time.
He relinquished the captaincy of the Proteas’ ODI squad at the end of the 2010-11 season and the T20 captaincy at the start of it.