Selfless Smith and contentious Kohli!.
For many Steve Smith is not an orthodox cricketer, and a year back it was not clear whether he is a lower order batsman who can bowl or top order batsman who bowls part-time. Nevertheless one thing was certain, his skills as a team member, his understanding of the game, and its limitation, understanding of his players…therefore when Clarke was ruled out, there was no hesitation to pick him as their next Test captain. Its about the team, and not about you.
Smith like his predecessors is born from a team, and not the opposite. His work ethic(to improve batting technique in longer format he had to stop playing T20 for sometime) and leadership skills for Sydney Sixers(winning the tournament) gave him another opportunity to be a part of the Australian Test side. Since then he not only contributed with the bat but also as player on the field. I think Clarke is very lucky to have Steve by his side.
The clip(below) clearly shows his selflessness as a captain. On his first Test as a captain, he threw his wicket(192)by playing a shocking shot. It was just before tea on day 2, and he was going at fair speed(last 42 runs from 32 balls). He was not bothered about his personal milestone of scoring a double ton on captaincy debut, instead was seeking to get as much as possible of every ball!.
Since the demise of Phil Hughes both Clarke and Smith have done marvelous job in keeping the team harmony.
Team Harmony: Here is an excerpt from Pursuit of Excellence.
One of the most satisfying experience for an athlete is to be a member of a team that gets along well and works as a cohesive unit. Good communication, respect for one another, a feeling of closeness, a friendly atmosphere, mutual acceptance and encouragement. Unfortunately, harmony among team members and between coach and players is not a trademark of many teams.
Merely being together in workouts, at games, or in social settings does not necessarily increase mutual liking or harmony among team members. For harmony to develop, people usually must be linked in some interdependent way so that they can rely on one another and help one another. Harmony grows when you really listen to others and when they listen to you, when you are considerate of their feelings and they are considerate of yours, when you accept their differences and they accept yours, when you help them and they help you. harmony is grounded in the knowledge that someone really cares about you, appreciates you, respects you, and accepts you as you are.
I have my doubts on Indian team’s harmony, especially after Kohli’s contentious behaviour
I don’t mind sledging your opponent, but shouting at your own fielder when they err is a big blunder as it disrupts team harmony and there are few Int. captains who do that, and Kohli is one of them.
I believe the reason: On the field they(he) is a contentious player, and most times it is a personal ego they are trying to ride. As Mathew Hayden(co-commentator) said “Its Virat show!!. Now that Kohli is their Test captain, apart from Australia would he sledge other teams, , the likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or WI.. ?? and would his players do the same ??
I personally don’t think so- because they feel that if they sledge Australia they would become like them or better, or it is tit for tat theory.
On the other hand Australians sledge against every team, irrespective of their status or standing or form or format, and they do that in their domestic cricket also( last night Finch(captain of Melbourne Renegades) taunted Maxwell(Melbourne Stars) when they played against each other @BBL4)It is how they played their cricket, and they will continue doing that…. However I haven’t seen any Australian captain(in all format and level) shout at his own fielder(s) when they blunder!!.
Few captains who do, and was suprised who don’t!
One can understand that errors made by a fielder(including keeper and bowler)can cost them their game, and it has happened so many times in cricket where teams went on to either lose or not win a game(drop catches cost Australia from winning MCG test, yet, Smith closed the game when 4 overs were left on last day, when India were 6-174 needing 384 to win).
There are few captains who I have seen shout at their fielders or give sermon on how to field or where to… and all are from India and Pakistan. I am sure in past there are few English and South African captains as well, but haven’t seen any Kiwi, Aussie, West Indian or even Sri Lankan captains(maybe Ranatunga, at initial stage of his captaincy) shouting at their players on the field…
Kohli reminds me so much of Javed Miandad, and like Javed almost every Pakistani captain shouts at his fielder(luckily for them, current Test captain Misbah-ul- Haq is not one of them).The famous ones are Miandad and Afridi. From India there was Kapil Dev, Ganguly and now Kohli and I have seen Rohit Sharma during his stint as a captain of Mumbai Indians.
Kohli reminds me so much of Miandad(its not a compliment)!
On the other hand I was surprised to see both Yuvraj and Harbhajan behave differently when they led their side. They looked and behaved maturely.
Will end this acrimonious post with this quote
“ In the end, it is upon the quality and commitment of individuals that all group movements depend”– Robertson Davies.