Former skipper of the Australian cricket team, Michael Clarke, suggested that his antecedent Steve Smith should never be a captain of Australia again. He instead backed fast bowler Pat Cummins as the future Aussie skipper.
“In Australia, we have a sense of the best player needs to be the captain,” Clarke told Sky Sports as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“I don’t agree with that. I think the best captain needs to be the captain. Steve Smith is Australia’s best batsman, but I don’t necessarily think he is the right man to captain Australia,” Clarke added.
Smith was appointed as the leader of his national cricket team after Clarke chose to bid adieu to international cricket post the 2015 ODI World Cup. Smith rose to success as soon as he took over the big responsibility, but in March 2018, the 30-year-old got involved in the controversial ball-tampering incident in South Africa and was banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for 12 months from international and domestic cricket.
The captaincy ban on Smith was for 2 years; in the meantime, CA decided to make Tim Paine the Test skipper, while Aaron Finch was named as the limited-overs format captain.
Clarke heaped praises for Paine, stating that he did a great job, and he would want to hang his boots if Australia manages to defeat India later this year.
“Tim Paine’s done a wonderful job; there’s no doubt about it. He’s earned the right to continue to captain Australia until it’s time for him to retire. Tim is 35, and I imagine he will be thinking about that after this Australian summer. If Australia can win there (during a home series against India), that’s an ideal time for Tim to walk away on top,” Clarke added further.
For Cummins, Clarke opined that the speedster could be an all-format captain for Australia. The cricketer-turned-commentator backed Cummins and said he reads the game well.
“Cummins reads the game really well. Yes, he’s an opening bowler, but he can bat. He’s brilliant in the field. He sees the game how a captain needs to. There’s always been a lot of talk about a bowler being captain, and generally, that’s because the bowlers get injured. Pat has shown that he’s fit, he’s healthy, he can play all three formats. His body has now matured into a position where he’ll be on the pitch as much as any batsman,” signed off Clarke.