Waugh: Smith must always trust himself


Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says new skipper Steve Smith will have the toughest time as leader when his own runs dry up, and that the pressure is most when a captain is out of form.

Smith has been in prolific form with the bat for the past two years, but Waugh says that's not going to last, as everyone has dips in form, and that Smith will need all his wits about him when that happens.

Calls for the head as captain, calls for his place, criticism from the media. All those will increase if he's out of nick, as the likes of Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke have found in recent months.

Waugh said on the CA website: "That will be his biggest challenge, when he has a loss of form and he's got all the pressure associated with being captain.

"That's when it really tests you.

"He's got to have a really good, trusted group of people around him that he really values and can listen to, and not take too much outside influence and outside advice.

"He's really got to trust himself."

Waugh said that Smith was lucky that he's already had a taste of the captaincy, which will stand in him in good stead for his first full series next month, when they host New Zealand for three Tests.

Waugh added: "The expectation is always there and the pressure is always around you as a captain, but the good thing is he's had a taste of it.

"More importantly, he wants to do it. You've got to want to do the captaincy role, because it is all encompassing.

"The good thing about Steve Smith is his game is in good shape. It's very hard to be a captain if you're not playing well."