Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh has given captain Steve Smith some important advice ahead of the 2017 Ashes. Waugh has asked Smith to keep his emotions in check during the high octane series, which often produces great cricket.
As quoted in cricket.com.au, Waugh said, “The only advice I’d say for Steve this series is maybe not shown so much emotion when you’re in the field. The camera is always on you as a captain. If you’re negative in your body language or you’re kicking the ground, it’s going to be magnified 100 times. The only thing I’d say to him is to keep your emotions in check a bit more.”
He further elaborated, “I almost talked to myself when someone would drop a catch or the bowlers weren’t doing well. You almost want to show something either verbally or physically but you knew that there’s every chance it would be replayed on the big screen and the whole team will be watching five seconds later. You’ve always got to stay in charge because people look at you for guidance here, they look for you to lead the way.”
Waugh added that experience teaches most of the things when it comes to handling emotions. He said, “You become more aware of (your emotions). When you first become captain you’ve got so much on your mind that you just captain the way you’ve always captained or what your natural traits or instincts (dictate). Later on, you probably become a bit more conservative when you realize the ramifications either way. When you’re going well you’re the best, when you’re not going so well you’re the worst captain.”
The veteran of 168 Test matches added that Ashes is a great chance for Smith to seal his legacy in Australian cricket. He said, “There’s nothing better than to lead your side out in that Ashes contest with that tradition and history. For your team to have that identity, which probably right now they’re probably lacking a bit, people don’t really associate this Australian team as being a unit that’s been together for a long time. It’s a chance to stabilize Australian cricket.”