When I think back on all of the Protea’s recent successful years, the one thing that stands out consistently is that Biff Smith was leading us. Leading by example. Aggressive, arrogant and cocky were all words to describe him. I loved it, and other countries hated it. We need another Graeme Smith
We have plenty of problems in the Protea’s setup at the moment. Batting form is at the forefront. It’s the one blatantly obvious weakness at the moment and I love that we’ve got Graeme Smith in as a consultant. Granted he didn’t have the technique and elegance of a Kallis or Amla, but he knew how to play to his strengths and most of all, he hates losing so much that he scrapped like an absolute warrior. He’d bat with a broken finger, once a Test series had already been won, just because he refused to lose a Test. Other countries found our captain to be belligerent. The more I think about it, all great sides have had an aggressive leader.
Australia were the greatest Test side for most of the 90’s and the Naughties, the thing they had in common was that they were lead by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting. Two massive scrappers and the Aussies loved them. We all thought they were serious douche bags.
In the current era, New Zealand are a decent side. They play attacking cricket and are never a push-over. They are lead by Brendon McCullum. Just looking at him scares people. Strong, aggressive and full of tattoos. He’s a leader in every way. You wouldn’t want to cross him.
I find it very hard to think of a polite way to describe the way the current Indian side are lead. Why? Because Virat Kholi captains them. Superb cricketer, aggressive, arrogant and always seems to be antagonising the opposition. He’s constantly in people’s faces and he’s adored in India but disliked by many other cricket fans across the world.
Our side at the moment is in a shambolic state, so who is leading the Protea’s ? Who’s standing up and taking on the opposition? Who’s getting in everyone’s face? Who’s pissing everyone off? As far as I know…. nobody!
Hashim Amla was very open about the fact that he didn’t want the captaincy, so why give it to him? The difference between Hash and great captains from the past is that he’s quiet, he seems like a real introvert. He’s is polite, friendly and just generally perfect. He’s loved by every Protea fan. I’ve never heard anyone say they dislike him and he’s loved by every cricket fan across the world. And thus is actually a problem to me. AB’s in the same boat – both lead from the front by (usually) scoring runs.
Overall the Protea’s just come across as the “nice guys” of world cricket at the moment. And we all know where nice guys finish….