Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke does not want Steve Smith to lead the Australian national cricket team again. The World Cup-winning skipper reckons that Australia should be led by high-quality paceman Pat Cummins who is currently the Test captain of Australia. Cummins has been simply sensational with the ball as he has been dominating the red-ball format across the world.
Earlier, Steve Smith was named the skipper after Michael Clarke announced his retirement in the wake of the 2015 Ashes series in England. Smith went on to lead the team in ODIs and Tests. The brilliant batsman showcased his mettle as a captain and as under his leadership, Australia remained one of the top teams in the world.
While everything was going smoothly for Steve Smith, the ball-tampering scandal at Newlands in South Africa rocked the cricket fraternity. Steve Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for 12 months. It was then Cricket Australia decided to strip Steve Smith from captaincy and was not allowed to lead the team for another two years.
Ever since Smith made a comeback, he has played under the tutelage of Tim Paine in Tests and Aaron Finch in the shorter formats. With two-year captaincy ban coming to a close, Smith will soon be eligible to skipper Australia again. However, the 38-year-old Michael Clarke doesn’t want that to happen.
Steve Smith is not the best captaincy material: Michael Clarke
It was only last month when Michael Clarke had expressed that he would love to see Steve Smith captain Australia once again. “He’s been a great leader since he was a kid, I’d love to see him captain Australia yet again. Whether he does or not will be up to Cricket Australia. But if he got the opportunity again he would thrive,” Clarke had said last month.
However, he changed his mind now and came up with a clear-cut answer while talking on an Australian morning sports show, where he works as an analyst, Michael Clarke said that Pat Cummins should be recruited as the new skipper of Australia across formats since his reading of the game is remarkable.
“In sport in this country we have a sense of the best player needs to be the captain,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast as quoted by Fox Sports. “I don’t agree with that. I think the best captain needs to be the captain.”
“Pat has shown that he is fit, he is healthy, he can play all three formats. His body has now matured into a position where he will be on the field as much as any batsman,” added Clarke.
Clarke also added saying that Steve Smith is Australia’s best batsmen but not the best captaincy material for the national cricket team. Clarke went on to thank the current captains, Tim Paine (Test) and Aaron Finch (T20I and ODI), for their valuable contributions and impressive performances and felt that the end of this year would be the right time for them to step down from their respective captaincy duties.
Australia will host T20 World Cup in this year’s October and before that, the Indian team will visit for the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Michael Clarke insisted both captains to call it quits from captaincy at the end of the series.
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