Showcasing emotions have forever been a captain’s trait. Some hide it, some don’t. Australia’s captain Steven Smith, is of the former side. The 28-year-old has often been compared to legendary skipper Allan Border, dubbed “Captain Grumpy” for his body language during matches. Since Border, the Aussie captains have been somewhat silent and inexpressive in nature.
But Smith’s aggressive nature has long been criticized for being a somewhat foul mouth, most notably during the Test tour of India earlier this year where he was captured calling Indian opener Murali Vijay a “f***ing cheat”. But since then, Smith has publicly acknowledged a desire to keep his emotions in check.
Legendary former Australian captain, Steve Waugh, someone who almost always had a poker face during his highly successful reign as skipper from 1999-2004. He believes that Smith should change his body language.
Waugh said, “It’s hard. He’s a very emotional cricketer,” Waugh said on Wednesday (November 1). “He wears his heart on his sleeve, whereas I could control that a lot easier and pack my emotions away and not show too much. If it doesn’t come naturally, it’s hard to do. One thing I would say, these days if you’re at first slip and you’re kicking the ground or there’s body language that’s not positive, the chances are it’s going to be replayed somewhere and the bowlers are going to see it. If you’re playing grade cricket you can get away with it, but not when you’ve got 20 cameras on you.”
Waugh, added, “Whatever I did was going to be magnified and monitored and exaggerated, so I made a decision to keep all my emotions in check and not give too much away. I think he’s (Smith) just got to be aware that the camera is always on him. That’s something I had in the back of my mind. But it’s a bit of a difficult situation, because if it comes naturally, it’s very hard to turn it off”.