Melbourne: Australia's left-arm spinner Steve O' Keefe on Tuesday praised Steven Smith after the skipper was criticised for his tactics, describing him as one of the best leaders he has played under.
Smith's predecessor Michael Clarke, along with spin veteran Shane Warne, criticised the skipper for the use of spinner Nathon Lyon during the first Test against South Africa in Perth recently.
"I have no doubt he is one of the best, if not the best, captains I've played under. Because I know him on a personal level, I can understand what he's trying to say and what he's trying to do," O' Keefe was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"He's just got a good assessment of batters and even though it may go against some of my plans, I'll take on board exactly what he says."
O'Keefe also admitted that he was amazed at his skipper's tactical nous because at times Smith "come across as a bit forward" in the field.
"During the Test he'll say, ‘Can you give me an over of cross seam and bowl a bit wider to this guy?' or 'Let's keep this guy (a fielder) up for a sweep or top edge,'" O'Keefe said.
"I don't argue with it, I just go with it because even if it's not what I'm thinking, I know (Smith) is generally two steps ahead of the game.
"I guess at times it can come across as a bit forward or that he's just taking into account what he thinks, but I genuinely believe he is a very good captain of spin bowling. I've never had an issue with him at all, even at domestic level," the Australian spinner added.
Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 18:22:23 IST