All the more wiser, the captain of cricket returns

2008-07-04 00:00

GRAEME Smith embarks upon his second captaincy tour of England as a more rounded character blessed with a more established game. Not that he did so badly last time. To the contrary, his previous visit was a resounding success. Smith led energetically, scored a stack of runs and helped his side to square the series. Rushed into responsibility after a calamitous World Cup campaign, he attacked the English with the relish Alexander the Great reserved for protesting Prussians. Everything seemed set for a conquering career. Of course it is seldom quite as simple as that. Apart from anything else, Alexander did not have to deal with the LBW law, or Percy Sonn.

Having raised expectations, Smith has subsequently been marked a little hard. Partly it has been his own fault. He seemed an unsympathetic character with fixed ideas and a domineering outlook. Determined to hold his ground, he sometimes instead marched towards the guns, drawing

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