Statistics don't lie
I am absolutely amazed by the amount of people that still does not regard Graeme Smith as a great (not even good) cricketer. I thought that I would enlighten some of the people that have had there head under a rock for the last 10 years. Graeme is the greatest captain the world has ever seen, one of the best opening batsmen in history but our fickle South African public are still calling for his head at every turn.
This blog is not about Graeme the person, captain or cricketer in his personal capacity. This is only about the stats for the man. You can argue all you like about him not contributing and so on but please someone try and prove me wrong.
The stats are taken from www.cricionfo.com and you can go look them up with links included.
Run Scored as Captain
Greame has scored more runs as Captain than anyone else. Even more than the "Greats" of Ponting, Lara, Lloyd and Border. He averages 48.85 which just below Ponting and Border.
Captain and Opener
As a captain and Opener there has never been anyone remotely close to him. He has 7843 runs @49.32 compared to the second best of Mike Atherton with stats of 3815 @ 40.58. He has scored more than double that of his nearest direct counterpart.
As Opener (Disregard Captaincy)
As an opener he can then be compared to the great opener of Hayden, Gavaskar and more. Even with this stat he is only beaten by the two mentioned above. He is likely to surpass them both by the end of his career. Gavaskar 9607 @ 50.29, Hayden 8625 @ 50.73, Smith 8332 @ 50.21.
He is undoubtedly one of the all time great openers.
Centuries and Matches Won
This is about contributing when the team is winning. Smith has scored 17 Centuries when South Africa has won a Match. This is only beaten by Hayden who has scored 23.
4th Innings contribution as captain
This stat shows what Smith has done when a team has had to win the match while having to bat in the 4th innings. Any cricketer will tell you that this is often the most difficult task because of deteriorating pitch conditions and pressure. Smith has scored almost more than double of that of Ponting (1033 vs 533) in the 4th innings to win a match.
4th Innings (disregarding captaincy)
Even when disregarding captaincy he is still top of the list with only Mathew Hayden coming close.
End of story!
There never was and probably never will be another captain/opener/player like Biff and we as South Africans need to start appreciating this fact. The stats (in this case) do not lie. Unfortunately we love that feeling of someone else failing, to hide the fact that we ourselves are probably failures in our own life.
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