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Rodney Hogg believes Steve Smith could become the greatest ever Australian captain

Ram Kumar
850   //    25 Feb 2016, 19:44 IST
Steve Smith
Steve Smith receives the Trans Tasman Trophy from Sir Richard Hadlee

Steve Smith has been basking in the adulation from multiple quarters after his side thrashed New Zealand at their home 2-0 to go on top of the Test rankings. The young captain received a shot in the arm after former Australian cricketer Rodney Hogg claimed that he could proceed to become the best captain that his country would ever see.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Hogg heaped praise on Smith’s ability to lead from the front. The 64-year old opinionated, “I’m annoyed at the way the public have had a go at Steven (Smith), because he’s going to be the greatest Australian captain we’ve ever had.”

Considering that Australia has seen some of the game’s greatest ever captains such as Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell, Allan Border and Steve Waugh, Hogg’s statements come as a surprise. However, Smith is certainly letting his bat do the talking and his unflinching confidence is rubbing on the team-mates as well.

When asked whether that included the iconic Border, Hogg who spent the majority of his career under the former’s captaincy, asserted, “Better than Allan Border, 100 times better than Allan Border.”

Eleven games, seven wins, no losses

Border was largely credited for resurrecting Australia from the dumps and infusing a never say die attitude which resulted in successive national teams dominating the sport. Hogg elaborated, “Steve Waugh took over the captaincy of Australia at the age of 33, he played in 111 Test matches before he took the captaincy. Ponting played in 91 Test matches, he was 30, Border was 29, he played in 63, Clarke was 29.”

The seamer who took 123 Test wickets at an average of 28, added, “What I’m trying to say here is this kid’s only 26, he’d only played in 30 Test matches before they gave him the captaincy. He’s a young freak.” But, Australia’s win was marred by a controversy surrounding the on-field behavior of Smith and his troops.

Hogg jumped to Smith’s defence and felt that the stump mic should not have been turned on. He affirmed, “You mob in media have jumped all over this kid, 26, who after 30 Test matches is doing a brilliant job. Eleven games, seven wins, no losses, he’s going to go down as the greatest Australian captain of all time and you mob have had a go at him. I’m very disappointed, and as I say the stump mic, you can kick that to the end of wherever you want to kick things to.”

At the end of the day, the 26-year old’s formidable start to his captaincy stint. Smith has joined an illustrious group of skippers including Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, MS Dhoni, Mike Brearly, Ray Illingworth and Michael Smith who were undefeated during their first 11 Tests as captain.

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Ram Kumar
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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