Father proud of Smith’s captaincy call


Peter Smith, father of new Australia Test captain, Steve Smith, has spoken about the pride and joy that he is feeling ahead his of son's captaincy debut against India in the second Test of the series starting in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Smith Junior was named as stand in Australia captain for the four-match Test series against India after Michael Clarke injured his hamstring in the First Test, which Australia won, in Adelaide.

Smith Senior said: "It is quite amazing, it really is when you think about it. I don't think you see that (a future Test captain) as a father. You just work with your son which is what I was doing all the time."

It seems a long way back when Smith made his Test debut in 2010 as a budding leg-spinning all-rounder against Pakistan at Lords. Smith batted at number eight and took three wickets in the second innings as Australia won by 150 runs.

He has transformed himself into one of Australia's key batsman in the middle-order and one of the best players of spin in the team. He now has scored five Test centuries in five different countries after 23 Tests, as his leg-spin has taken a backseat to a more part-time role.

His father continued: "What he's done, to be able to progress as fast as he has, he continues to surprise me, which is good. I like being surprised.

"We did a lot of work together and we just kept playing and enjoying it, we just had fun."

The Australian selectors have also not picked someone who is completely new to captaincy. Smith has captained his club, state and Big Bash League teams, and has had some success.

Smith Senior said: "He's had a lot of captaincy experience. He captained representative sides all the way through, his club side as well, onto grade.

"So he has had experience doing that, but it's not something you think of as a father."

His father also attributes a lot of his success to the Sutherland Cricket Club, where Smith grew up and learnt his trade as a cricketer.

He said: "I think he was one of the youngest captains of the Sutherland grade club as well, doing that when I think he was 19.

"I did a lot of work with him when he was young to a point when he was about 16. At that point it's time to say 'OK, you need to go and get other people are helping you and are working with you.

"He was very lucky he was at the Sutherland club where he had people like (former Australian cricketers) Steve Rixon and Phil Jaques, Glenn McGrath and others who were all there helping."