Scalp Graeme Smith to end Proteas reign as No.1 in Tests: McGrath
Pace legend Glenn McGrath has called on Australia's pacers to focus on Graeme Smith's wicket, as he believes the fall of South Africa's skipper would be the psychological blow to end the Proteas' reign as No.1 in Tests.
Smith captains South Africa for the 95th time in this Test, making him the most-capped skipper in Test history.
Such is Smith's aura among, and importance to, the Proteas, McGrath believes the sight of their spiritual leader failing can demoralise a South African having few weaknesses.
McGrath at his peak successfully targeted the likes of Michael Atherton, Brian Lara and Andrew Strauss and had the edge over Smith, dismissing the South African opener five times.
He believes Australia can unseat the Proteas as cricket's champion Test side if pacers Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus shake-up the South African skipper, News.com.au reports.
"If you get on top of Graeme Smith, he is the key to victory. Personally, I was never shy with making a prediction or targeting a certain player," said McGrath, Australia's most prolific quick with 563 wickets from 124 Tests at a world-class 21.64.
"Traditionally, you go after the captain and it stems back to the West Indies sides of the 1980s, they would always look to target the leader, get on top of him and it would have a big effect.
"It is hard to target just one guy in this South African team because they have so many great players, guys like (Jacques) Kallis and (Hashim) Amla, but Smith is their captain and their opening batsman."