ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 08: Steve Smith of Australia walks out for the coin toss during day one of the Second Test Match in the series between Australia and the West Indies at Adelaide Oval on December 08, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Former Australian captain Steve Smith has revealed why his prized baggy green has resembled a dog's chew toy throughout the recent series win against the West Indies.

While the New South Welshman claimed that gnashers of a kind were the cause for the gnarly state of his Test cap, the family dog was not to blame in this instance.

Speaking to Peter Lalor of The Australian, Smith divulged that the brim and crown of his cap had been torn up by Sri Lankan rats during Australia's recent tour of the subcontinent.

"I left it overnight in the change room in Galle like I do everywhere and turned up the next day and rats had got to it, I think," Smith said.

"I'm going to try and get it fixed this week, it's falling apart."

The state of Smith's lid has led to debate among members of Australia's wider cricketing family, with some suggesting the chewed-up cap verges on the precipice of disrespect.

Prior to the commencement of Steve Waugh's reign as captain, members of the Australian XI were awarded a fresh cap ahead of every series. Yet, on Waugh's insistence, this practice was put to bed, with tattiness replacing tidiness as a badge of honour.

Though Waugh and his predecessor, Ricky Ponting, would eventually admit to having running repairs made to their own baggy greens, each would exit the test arena wearing faded caps, no doubt reeking of stale beer and the odd changeroom dart.

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Australia's famous Test caps are currently assembled and repaired by homegrown sporting goods manufacturer Kookaburra.

Wool collected from every Australian state and territory is transported to Perth to complete the process, thus creating a truly national icon to be worn on the international stage.

Any repairs to Smith's cap will require expediting given Australia is set to commence their latest Test series against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday.

Should delay or decay stand in the way, Smith will be afforded the right to request a new cap ahead of the Gabba Test.