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Challenging time for Smith the captain, says Clarke

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September 19, 2017

Steve Smith is in the middle of a challenging phase as captain and he must define the way for the Australian team’s comeback in the ongoing One-Day International series against India, feels his former skipper Michael Clarke.

“Smith’s batting has been outstanding for a long time but his captaincy is challenged now. He needs to define the way for his team to have success,” Clarke said on Tuesday.

Having drawn the two-Test series in Bangladesh, Smith’s captaincy is likely to be tested to the limit with Australia trailing 0-1 in the five-ODI series against India.

Australia had the series opener in Chennai firmly in control with India reeling at 87 for five before Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya turned it around with a century partnership en route to a 26-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain-hit match.

“It’s high time that Australia make a comeback. I think this is the match that will decide the course of the series,” he said ahead of the second ODI in Kolkata on September 21.

Clarke presented Don Bradman’s bat, that the legend used in India’s first tour of Australia in 1948, to the Fanattic Sports Museum in Kolkata.

Talking about the Indian team, the cricketer-turned-commentator praised chinaman spin bowler Kuldeep Yadav.

“He is an attacking bowler. His control as a wrist spinner from the back of his hand is amazing and is his strength. He has got all the skills, spins both ways, bowls long spells. He did well in the Test series.”

Dhoni is back in his prime and Clarke in a lighter vein said: “Don’t ask me whether he will play in the 2019 World Cup. He will play in 2023.”

Clarke further said David Warner will be back amongst the run after missing out in Chennai.

“He got centuries in Bangladesh… It is hard to overlook him by seeing his performance in one game.

“He will find ways to score, he always does. He will have lot of impact in the series. He and Smith will be the leading scorers for Australia in the series. Hopefully, they start scoring from Kolkata.”(Agencies)

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