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Smith stamping authority on Test side

AAP logoAAP 26/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

Steve Smith says Australia's disastrous Test series against South Africa was a turning point in his captaincy.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed another glittering year wit the bat, averaging 60.93 at Test level.

But his individual performance has been overshadowed by demoralising series losses in Sri Lanka and at home to South Africa.

A frustrated Smith demanded more from his players after South Africa clinched the series with an innings victory in the second Test in Hobart last month.

Australia's selectors made five changes for the third Test in Adelaide and it payed dividends, with the hosts claiming victory in the day-night dead rubber.

Looking back, Smith says his pointed comments helped him to stamp his authority on the team.

"For me, it was almost as if 'enough's enough, I'm sick of losing, I'm sick of playing this way'," Smith told ABC Grandstand.

"It felt great to get to Adelaide and see the group of guys there. I could almost see the switch in energy straight away.

"Some things, I don't think we did very well in Sri Lanka and (against) South Africa around being adaptable and resilient and being professional.

"Those are the things that I suppose I've got across to the guys, that we're looking to grow as a team together. They've gone with them and everything's worked out well so far."

Smith has proven plenty capable of leading from the front, as shown by his gritty first innings in Hobart where he eventually ran out of partners.

But he admits he's had to work hard on not showing negative body language when things aren't going well.

"That's something I'm going to work on in the new year ... to try and keep a level head and not get too emotionally caught up on it," he said.

"I do take a lot of the losses personally."

Former Test opener Simon Katich said it would be crucial for Smith to keep calm in tough situations with a tour of India and a home Ashes series on the horizon.

"It's good constructive criticism," Katich said.

"Young, inexperienced players that are searching for self-belief at this level can really be impacted by that if they don't feel that the captain trusts them."

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