Smith one of the bravest men I’ve seen

navneeth Roar Rookie

By navneeth, navneeth is a Roar Rookie

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    As the hotly anticipated series between Australia and South Africa is being played out down under, let us recall one of these nations’ best encounters.

    The SCG, 2009. In the third and final Test, Australia needed two wickets to win the match, with 8.2 overs left. Australia were fancying their chances to win the match by taking the wicket of the last South African pair, Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini.

    Just then Steyn was caught in the crease lbw from the bowling of Andrew McDonald. The Australian players started to celebrate their win, when a loud cheer and applause broke from from the crowd to a batsman walking from the South African dressing room with a broken hand, to save his team from losing the Test, even though they had already won the series.

    Do you remember who that brave hero was?

    Australia won the toss and elected to bat, amassing a total of 445. South Africa’s opening pair were in the process of giving a good start to the team, when misfortune struck.

    Graeme Smith, trying to defend a delivery off Mitchel Johnson, misjudged the bounce of the pitch and the ball hit his glove, breaking his left hand. He left the crease in pain and was not seen on the field for the next two days.

    Chasing a target of 375, South Africa were 8/202. With Graeme Smith injured, Australia were a wicket away from winning the match. But the South African pair of Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini resisted them with a partnership of 50 runs in 18 overs.

    After McDonald took Steyn’s wicket, the Australians started to enjoy the victory, when the crowd rose from their seats to pay respect to the South African skipper. Having received an injection of his own blood into his right elbow, Smith was walking from the dressing room to save the match for his team, the cast removed from his fractured left hand.

    Smith, being roared to the centre, tried to block out the pain, but it was there whenever he defended. It was visible, seeing the movement of the bat after the ball hit.

    Leaving the balls was easier for him, so Australia introduced Doug Bollinger and Johnson, both whom were bowling above 140kmph.

    Smith faced 17 agonizing deliveries to save the match, but he was undone by an in-swinging delivery from Mitchell Johnson – the man who broke his hand finally taking his wicket – with 11 balls left for the day.

    Smith said to the media he was not even ready to play as he had not brought his kit for the day. As he thought situation demanded, he borrowed a shirt from Jacques Kallis, lowers from Paul Harris, while Dale Steyn tied his shoes for him.

    He was not in a position to wear his usual glove, so he wore a special-made glove and braced himself to play an innings which may have made his injury worse.

    But he was never worried about that. He always wanted to give 100%, such was his passion for cricket and his beloved nation. He was in such pain that he was not able to tap his partner with his left hand.

    Smith said after, “I just decided to give it my best shot, If I got a first-baller, at least I tried, that was what was going through my head. There was a lot of pain, I’d just had injections in my elbow and this [his hand] is obviously not very friendly at the moment, but I was grateful I never got another knock on either part of my body.”

    It says so much about his character that, having won the series, he still wanted to deny Australia any success.

    It also says so much about his love for the sport of cricket and his willingness to give his best for his team without considering the pain and sacrifice for himself.

    Graeme Smith is one of the bravest players I have ever seen, I rate him among greats, and this innings of just 17 balls for three runs is one of his best.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • Roar Rookie

      November 21st 2012 @ 4:53am
      Neuen said | November 21st 2012 @ 4:53am | ! Report

      That is one of those moments in sport where you will find guys who will give their left testicle for their team. In a South African provincial match some odd 16 or 17 years ago the one player broke his leg. He came in with his leg in a cast to try and save the game for his team. In the end they got him you guessed it LBW.

      Steve Waugh was another. He wasn’t the best with the short stuff and the SA peppered him with it. He took a lot of hits but he battled to score some good innnings

    • November 21st 2012 @ 8:14am
      sledgeross said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Yeah, Smith is no doubt a brave man, but one of the greats, cmon!

    • November 21st 2012 @ 9:28am
      formeropenside said | November 21st 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Hero? He’s just a mouthy saffa. After he came out and bagged the Aussies in 2002 I was hoping they bounced him out when he foolishly walked out to bat.

      • November 21st 2012 @ 12:33pm
        Don Corleone said | November 21st 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        The words ‘bravery’ and ‘hero’ are words to describe soldiers, firefighters, police, search and rescue paramedics, nurses, people who run into burning houses and save children.

        ‘Bravery’ and ‘hero’ are not words to describe what sportsmen do.

        This Graeme Smith worship is getting beyond a joke.

        • November 21st 2012 @ 8:28pm
          lolly said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

          Yes, I quite agree.

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 8:43pm
        biltongbek said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

        There are many “mouthy” players, look at the australian team, never short of one. Smith may not be a hero, but he manned up, that shows character.

        • November 22nd 2012 @ 12:10am
          Sandy said | November 22nd 2012 @ 12:10am | ! Report

          Biltongbek, I don’t think anyone is saying there aren’t plenty of “mouthy” players, just the fact that Smith happens to be one.

    • November 21st 2012 @ 9:54am
      Jimbo Jones said | November 21st 2012 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      I loved that innings simply for the balls that he showed by going out there. Great moment in sport no matter which team you supported – in a small way I was hoping that he could hold out.

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 10:58am
        Andy_Roo said | November 21st 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        So was I jimbo.
        He would be a hero to all South Africans and should be at least admired by everyone else, including you formeropenside

    • Roar Rookie

      November 21st 2012 @ 11:43am
      Skinnada said | November 21st 2012 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      An inspirational leader and a hard nosed batsman. I think the Aussies could do with an opener like him these days who fights for his wicket!

    • November 21st 2012 @ 11:55am
      Renegade said | November 21st 2012 @ 11:55am | ! Report

      I was talking about this moment just the other day…..it’s just one of those occasions in sport that will be hard to forget, the fact that the Australian crowd was even cheering for him was special in itself as everyone recognised just what they were witnessing here.
      The captain of his country, the leader of a proud team going out to try and save the test match when victory was already achieved in the bigger scheme of things.

      It makes me ask why we only have a 3-test series against South Africa….it’s obvious how much the contest means to both nations. This current series in particular with the number 1 ranking on the line, surely could have been a 5 test series.
      If South Africa win the second test, the series is basically over in terms of the number 1 spot.

      Honestly, who do you want to see Australia playing in the boxing day and new years test…..South Africa or Sri Lanka?

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 12:17pm
        dasilva said | November 21st 2012 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        South Africa summer calendar unfortunately overlaps with our summer calendar and so they have to return home to play some cricket as well

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