Who will ever forget Graeme Smith striding to the wicket with a broken hand in the third Test match in Australia? This after already winning the series. If ever there was a moment to define the man, that was it. The Proteas entered the history books in that series, the first South African team to beat the Aussies at home.
Earlier in 2008, they beat England and drew a Test series in India, making 2008 one of the most successful years on record. For good measure, South Africa also became the highest ranked one-day side in the world. Smith pinpoints the tour to Pakistan in October 2007 as the time his team started taking shape, and in A Captain’s Diary he records an extraordinary 18-month journey, from Karachi to Newlands via Lord’s, Leeds, Melbourne and Sydney.
Smith takes the reader behind the scenes. From the high drama on the field, where a game can turn on its head in a mere 30 minutes, to the dangers of touring Pakistan where one is surrounded day and night by security personnel bristling with guns. He reveals key, behind-the-scenes moments from team talks and selection to change-room banter, moments which determined their fate as they sought to dethrone Australia as the best team in the world.