Graeme Smith’s Exit from World Cricket Became Even More Painful as South Africa Lost Last Test & Series to Australia

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 6, 2014 12:03 PM EST

South Africa's captain Graeme Smith plays a shot during the second day of their cricket test match against Australia in Centurion February 13, 2014.
South Africa's captain Graeme Smith plays a shot during the second day of their cricket test match against Australia in Centurion February 13, 2014.

South African skipper Graeme Smith retired from international cricket on a losing note as Australia beat South Africa in the third test in Cape Town.

It was the last day of an illustrious career of Smith who has led his country with pride since 2003. He holds the world record for being the most successful test captain in the world. Under his captaincy, his country won 51 tests. His closest competition happened to be with Ricky Ponting who held the previous record with 48 test wins for Australia. His last test series did not represent his true potential as he made only 45 runs in the entire series with an average of 7.5.

Smith's exit from international cricket, however, did not turn out to be as glorious as his personal career. Australia defeated South Africa comprehensively by 245 runs in the final test of the series. With the win, Australia won the series as well. South Africa needed to survive only 4.3 more overs to save the test and gift a better farewell to their captain. Morne Morkel, nevertheless, got out to Ryan Harris as South Africa was bundled out for a slim score of 265.

The defeat, on the other hand, is not going to affect South Africa's test ranking. It will continue to top the list while Australia now moves up to the second spot pushing India down to the third position. Smith's declaration of retirement came only on March 3 during the on-going test. He said that he had been thinking of retirement since the test series started. A major reason behind his decision happens to be the health of his daughter. He called Cape Town the "perfect" venue to call it a day in his career.

Aussie captain Michael Clarke, who was earlier involved in an altercation with South African fast bowler Dale Styn, paid tribute to Smith. He said that South Africa was going to miss their captain. Clarke called Smith an "once-in-a-lifetime" cricketer.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko / )
South Africa's captain Graeme Smith plays a shot during the second day of their cricket test match against Australia in Centurion February 13, 2014.
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