Smith not temperamentally sound to be Australian captain, says Kerry O’Keeffe

The former Australia spinner feels Smith over-reacted too often during the Test series against India.

Steve Smith (second from left) with his 'Player of the Series' award on Tuesday.   -  PTI

Steve Smith is not “temperamentally sound enough” to lead Australia, says former spinner Kerry O’Keeffe, who feels the skipper over-reacted too often during the lost Test series against India. Australia lost the series 2-1 and Smith apologised for letting his “emotions falter” several times during the four-match rubber, which was marred by acrimony between the two sides.

O’Keeffe feels Smith led with sincerity but was too emotional for the high-pressure job. “He leads from the front (and) he’s finding out about leadership,” O’Keeffe said on Fox Sports Back Page Live. “Is he temperamentally sound enough to be the captain of our country? Probably not, because he’s so emotional. We’ve seen when he’s on the field, he’s overly reacting to everything,” added the leg-spinner, who played 24 Tests for Australia and picked 53 wickets.

O’Keeffe pointed at Smith’s outburst and use of cuss words after Murali Vijay claimed a grassed catch of Glenn Maxwell to justify his stance. “That catch was (not) cleanly taken. He decided to go with the cheat line. There’s an emotion to Steve Smith that basically is at the core of his game,” O’Keeffe said.

Smith, however, had a fantastic series with the bat, making 499 runs.