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It's about 53 wins and status as the top Test-playing nation

March 04, 2014 09:28 IST

It's about 53 wins and status as the top Test-playing nation

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Factbox on Graeme Smith, who announced he will be retiring from international cricket following the conclusion of South Africa's third Test against Australia.

* Born Feb. 1, 1981 in Johannesburg

* Promising schoolboy cricketer at King Edward School in Johannesburg, picked for South Africa's under-19 team.

* Left-handed opener, who played his initial first-class cricket for Gauteng but soon moved to Cape Town at the age of 18 to play for Western Province.

* Test debut against Australia in 2002 at Newlands, one month after his 21st birthday. Scored 68 in the second innings, batting No. 3, but South Africa lost.


Image: Graeme Smith
Photographs: Getty Images

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Smith took over the captaincy in his ninth Test

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* Took over as captain in his ninth Test, with many sceptical about his leadership ability at age of 22. Won his first Test as captain against Bangladesh by an innings and 60 runs.

* Made double centuries in consecutive Tests - 277 at Edgbaston and 259 at Lords - on tour in England in 2003.

* His games as captain are 108 for South Africa and one for the ICC World XI against Australia in October 2005.

* Set a world record 415 for the first wicket with Neil McKenzie against Bangladesh at Chittagong in early 2008. They had finished day one with 405 runs, the most ever put on by a pair in a single day of Test cricket without losing a wicket.


Image: Graeme Smith
Photographs: Getty Images

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Smith has a win percentage of 49.07

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* Led South Africa to an away Test series win over Australia in 2008 - their first home loss in almost two decades. His heroics in batting despite a broken hand in an attempt to save the third Test won over many fans.

* Smith has led his side to 53 Test victories, with a win percentage of 49.07. It is the most victories for a captain in Test history.

* Wanted to relinquish the captaincy after the 2011 World Cup in India, where he took the rap for the team's brittle middle order, but was persuaded to stay on as Test skipper by coach and former team mate Gary Kirsten.

* Led South Africa to Test series wins over England and Australia in 2012 to confirm the country's status as the top Test-playing nation.

* With one innings remaining in his Test career, has scored 9,262 runs in 117 Tests at an average of 48.49. It includes 27 Test centuries. Has also taken eight wickets with his right arm off breaks.


Image: Graeme Smith
Photographs: Getty Images

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