Clarke: Smith struggling to define the way to success

“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,” feels Clarke.

"Smith will be one of the leading scorers for Australia in the series and hopefully they start that in Kolkata,” said Clarke.   -  AFP

The Australian captain Steve Smith is struggling to define the way to success to his team, feels his predecessor Michael Clarke. The former Australian captain, who donated a bat used by the legendary Don Bradman during India’s first visit to Australia in 1948 to a sports museum here, was not as charitable with his comments when it came to analysing the job of the team’s present captain.

While extolling Smith’s consistently good bating form, Clarke said he is unable to bring that excellence in showing the team the way to success. “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 after formally presenting the bat of his most illustrious compatriot in the world of cricket to Fanattic Sports Museum.

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Clarke, who himself was criticised by his teammates on numerous occasions for the methods he employed as a captain, was critical of Australia’s recent reverses in the subcontinent. Australia drew the two-Test series in Bangladesh and capitulated against India in the opening One-Day International at Chennai.

The Australian team had an indoor session at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday as rains put paid to the prospect of training on the turf of the hallowed venue. Clarke, who is in the team of commentators for the official broadcaster, was impressed with the impact created by David Warner and said the batsman has a key role to play if Australia is looking for success in the ongoing series.

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“I think his (Warner’s) scores in Bangladesh will be hard to overlook. Chennai was just one game and I am sure he will find a way to score as he always does,” Clarke said about Warner.

“He will have lot of impact in the series. He and Smith will be the leading scorer for Australia in the series and hopefully they start that in Kolkata,” the former Australian captain who led the team to its fifth World Cup triumph in 2015, said.

Clarke was impressed with Indian left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s talents saying that the bowler has got all the skills to make it big. “He is an attacking bowler and is quite good with his control as a wrist spinner. He has got all the skills and can spin the ball both ways. He can bowl long spells and will be a good prospect in the Tests too,” Clarke said.

Clarke reiterated his faith on the former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said that he expects the letter to be in the Indian team in the 2019 World Cup. “He (Dhoni) can play till 2023,” Clarke said.