Michael Clarke on Tuesday said that even though Australia captain Steve Smith has displayed outstanding batting skills, his captaincy now stands challenged and that he needs to define the way to lead his team and make a comeback in the second ODI against India. The former Australia skipper, when asked about MS Dhoni’s participation in the 2019 World Cup, said wicketkeeper-batsman “will play in 2023”.
Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni partnership helped India beat Australia in the series opener in Chennai by 26-run via D/L method. “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. “It’s high time that Australia make a comeback. I think this is the match that will decide the course of the series.”
In Kolkata to present the bat used by Don Bradman in India’s first tour of Australia in 1948 at the Fanattic Sports Museum, Clarke praised chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav for his control as a wrist spinner. “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,” said the cricketer-turned commentator.
Asked whether MS Dhoni would play in the coming 2019 World Cup, Clarke said, “Don’t ask me whether he will play in the 2019 World Cup. He will play in 2023.”
Clarke added that it will be hard to overlook David Warner, 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.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines