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South African cricketer, Graeme Smith calls it a day
Graeme Smith has decided to hang his boots from international cricket after the conclusion of ongoing Test match between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town. The world has come a full circle for the South African captain who also made his debut against Australia in March 2002 at the same venue. Smith's record in both the ODIs as well as Test cricket speaks volumes as a cricketer. The left hander has been one of the best servants of South African cricket.

Test Career

Since making his Test debut, the player has not looked back with some great performances in the past for the Proteas. He scored his first century against Bangladesh, which was in fact a double hundred, after which he scored 26 more centuries making in 27 overall.

Once he got his eye in, it was very difficult for the bowlers to dismiss him. He made it a knack of scoring big runs, which can be justified with five double hundreds against his name. His highest score being 277 runs against England in 2003. He followed this innings of 277 runs with another double hundred, 259 runs at Lords.

He played 117 Test matches for South Africa scoring an incredible 9262 runs at an average of 48.49. The player was rated so highly that the he was given the role of captaincy when he was just 22 years of age. He also became South Africa's longest serving captain in Test cricket.

ODI Career

Just 11 runs short of 7000 runs in 197 ODI matches at an average of 37.98, Graeme  Smith managed to have a wonderful ODI career as well. He is South Africa's third highest scoring batsman in the ODIs.

He scored 10 tons during his ODI career, but one innings that will always remain the highlight of his career is not a match, where he scored a ton, but that innings against Australia, where he played an integral part in helping South Africa chase down a target of 434 runs. Had it not been for that flying start that Graeme Smith gave to South Africa scoring 90 runs in 55 balls, history would not have been created.

What made him a special player in the ODIs was his array of strokes both against spin as well as the pacers. He was one of the best players when it came to playing the ball off the hips down the leg side, which many consider his trademark shot as well. He read the game beautifully and batted as per the situation, intelligently.

Though, the South African cricketer played 33 matches for South Africa in the T20 arena, where he scored 982 runs, but it is his contribution in the Test and the ODI arena, which is going to be fondly remembered by fans world over.
 

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