India vs Australia | Steve Smith needs to define the way for his team’s success, says Michael Clarke

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India vs Australia | Steve Smith needs to define the way for his team’s success, says Michael Clarke

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SportsCafe Desk

09/20/2017

Michael Clarke believes that this series will be the real challenge for Steve Smith as the current Aussie captain will be needed to define the way for his team’s success against a strong side. Clarke also thinks that the second ODI on Thursday could decide the course of the series.

Michael Clarke is of the opinion that Australia captain Steve Smith’s leadership skills will face a real test when the Kangaroos take on Team India in the second ODI at the Eden Gardens. The former skipper believes that the mercurial batsman will have to pave the way for his side’s success by making a strong comeback in the match that could potentially decide the course of the series.

Clarke was present in Kolkata to present the bat used by Don Bradman in India’s first tour of Australia way back in 1948 when he said, “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. It’s high time that Australia make a comeback. I think this is the match that will decide the course of the series.”   

Australia are trailing 1-0 in the five-match ODI series after some magnificent batting by Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni and a brilliant collective bowling display saw the visitors being restricted to 137 runs, while chasing a revised target of 164.

With rain likely to influence the next ODI as well, Australia would be hoping that the weather conditions go their way. However, Clarke believes David Warner is the most important cog in the Aussie wheel and the side relies on him and Smith to lead them from the front.

“Warner 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 a 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.”  

Clarke was also all-praise for India’s chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who scalped two wickets last game in four overs.

“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.” 

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