Graeme Smith recently achieved the remarkable achievement of scoring a century in his hundredth Test match. But for all his runs, says The Old Batsman, Smith’s physical approach to the game shouldn’t rightfully taste such sumptuous fruits of prolonged success. Or should it? Make up your own mind!
Like a giant Heath Robinson engine, Smith's batting shouldn't work. Recreated under scientific conditions with another player, it almost certainly wouldn't. He has scored the bulk of his eight thousand plus Test match runs with half a bat for a start, his choking grip offering a closed face to the world.
The laundry list of shots Smith cannot hit is long, and even if he could cover drive, would anyone want to watch him do it? It's one of the great cosmic jokes that he is so often partnered with the symphonic Hashim Amla, the brutal orthodoxy of Kallis, the mercurial AB de Villiers.