Former Australian captain Steve Waugh's advice to Steve Smith
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh speaks about current skipper Steve Smith’s grueling schedule and how he has done as captain so far, reports cricket.com.au. The 51-year-old also spoke about the challenges facing a modern-day captain.
"It’s been a huge learning curve but he also has the challenge of captaining three different forms of the game, which very few captains do these days. Admittedly, the only question mark is mentally how much the last six months has taken [out of him].
"I think [the demands can] become mentally draining because of the challenges associated with [captaining three national teams] where you have three different groups of players coming in-and-out of the teams.
“So, you need good people around you, you need good support from the coaches and from senior players. However, from what I’ve seen Steve seems to be handling the pressures very well. I don’t think he’s made too many mistakes since he’s taken over the captaincy.”
Waugh’s advice for Smith
"When you play, you get caught up with what’s going on … it might be the ball you’re using or whether it is playing in a day-night Test,” said Waugh. “But when you finish up you go ‘it probably doesn’t really matter all that much because the best team is still going to win’.
"If you have the skills and you are mentally tough you’re going to do well in any conditions.
"I would tell Steve to just back yourself whatever you confront whether it is the pink ball or a day-night Test, if you have the skill level you’re still going to win. I think sometimes we make too much of a mistake [in worrying] that the conditions aren’t perfect but you realize ‘we just have to get on with it’.”
Waugh, a veteran of 168 Tests and 325 ODIs doesn’t want Smith to play too much and even gave the right-hander some advice on how to cope with the demanding schedule that he has now.
"I didn’t have [to worry about] three forms, I had the two and the captaincy was taken away from me for the one-day stuff for the last couple of years,” he said.
"It’s all-encompassing and there’s a lot expected of you; you have to do things like front the media, and I think I did more media than the captains who came after me ... they tend to share the workload [among the players] with the press and that’s a good thing.
"For me it was getting away up the coast to our holiday place and doing some fishing for a couple of days and getting away from the phone and the technology. That’s the hardest thing these days, you need an escape where you can fish, read a book, watch a movie to get away from cricket and recharge the batteries.”