In his fascinating autobiography ‘My Journey’ which thoroughly sheds light on cricketing aspect, Australian 45th Test skipper Steven Smith revealed how he rose to the occasion as a captain when he was asked by Cricket Australia (CA) to take the top-profile role in the gentleman’s game.
In August 2015, Australia announced Smith as a Test skipper after Michael Clarke hung his boots soon after England clinched the traditional Ashes series at home.
While speaking about his promotion in his latest book, Smith was enjoying a drink with the current member of the Australia set-up Mark Taylor, as both were taken by utter surprise which was eventually revealed in one of the chapters of ‘The Journey’ after it was released by the publishers this week.
“I had absolutely no doubts that I was and said so, and with that Mark said, ‘I’ll go and make some calls then’,” Smith wrote in his autobiography alongside veteran journalist Brian Murgatroyd.
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Interestingly, Australian board endorsed the suggestion from the then Chairman of Selectors Rod Marsh when the then Vice-captain Brad Haddin was expected to become the successor of Clarke which subsequently did not take place, as the administration asked supremely talented Smith to shoulder the responsibility while considering the future.
“‘Don’t you want to do it then?’ he (Taylor) said to Brad with a smile, perhaps thinking he was joking,” Smith remarked.
So much so, the book revealed former wicket-keeper batsman Haddin approached to the former Australia Test cricketer Taylor to think of a long-term plan.
“‘Are you serious?’ said Mark, and then he turned to me and said: ‘are you ready?’,” Smith further remarked in his memoir.
As the book was launched on Tuesday (October 24), it further revealed how Smith’s burgeoning success from the backyard cricket to top-flight level as a batsman had grabbed the attention of many, as his batting in Test cricket has urged him to achieve more.
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In his book, the Sydney-based Smith further revealed how the serious discussion inside a pub handed him over a lucrative post in the Australian cricket.
“None of these ambitions holds any more importance than any other, but if I can be part of sides that achieve them then that will be hugely rewarding,” Smith mentioned.
Moreover, the unorthodox batsman is going to face an acid test as a skipper in the five-match traditional Ashes series which is scheduled to kick-off on November 23 in Brisbane, as England side led by Joe Root will fly to Australia this week before featuring in the practice games.
In 2014, Smith became Australia’s youngest Test captain since Kim Hughes when he led the side for three games after Michael Clarke’s back injury.’
However, in 2014 Smith was appointed as the stand-in skipper in at least three fixtures when former skipper Clarke was nursing back injury.
Interestingly, at the age of 25, Smith became the youngest skipper to lead Australia after 63-year-old batsman Kim Hughes, who featured in 70 Tests and 97 ODIs for Kangaroos.
Hughes represented Australia national side between 1977 and 1984 after serving Western Australia in the first-class set-up.