‘SUM­MER TO MAKE OR BREAK SMITH’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AUS­TRALIAN great Steve Waugh says the sum­mer Test se­ries against South Africa and Pak­istan is shap­ing up as make or break for Steve Smith’s cap­taincy of the na­tional side. Smith be­came skip­per last year af­ter Michael Clarke re­tired and has come un­der the mi­cro­scope af­ter a 3-0 Test se­ries de­feat in Sri Lanka fol­lowed by a 5-0 one-day white­wash by South Africa. Waugh, who played 168 Tests, 57 as cap­tain, said the re­sults in the up­com­ing home sum­mer se­ries could be telling. “You al­ways have a hon­ey­moon pe­riod, the first six to 12 months, ev­ery­thing is fan­tas­tic. You make all the changes and they work. Then the re­al­ity sets in and it’s a bit harder than that,” he told yes­ter­day’s Sydney Morn­ing Her­ald. “I think los­ing that se­ries in Sri Lanka prob­a­bly was a bit of a shock to the sys­tem. I thought our field­ing was very poor, which is un­like Aus­tralia, and that sort of set the bench­mark for the rest of their cricket.” Waugh said Smith was the type of player who re­sponds when the go­ing gets tough and ex­pects him to be think­ing hard about how he will han­dle the South Africa and Pak­istan chal­lenges. “(Smith) will be hav­ing a good look at him­self, his cap­taincy style, which play­ers he wants in the team,” he said. South Africa ar­rived in Aus­tralia yes­ter­day ahead of the first Test in Perth from Novem­ber 3, with fur­ther Tests in Ho­bart and Ade­laide. Pak­istan play Tests in Bris­bane, Melbourne and Sydney from De­cem­ber 15.

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