Smith named Aus captain

Smith named Aus captain

In what can be termed a bold move, Australia appointed Steven Smith as their team’s captain for the remainder of the four-Test series against India.

In a press conference attended by Smith, coach Darren Lehmann and Cricket Australia High Performance Manager Pat Howard, the 25-year-old, who pipped Brad Haddin and David Warner to the post, said he was thrilled to lead Australia in Tests.       

"It's obviously been a pretty whirlwind 18 months for me personally, and for the team as well," Smith said. "For this to come up so quickly, it's an amazing thrill. It's something that I've always dreamt of doing. To now have the opportunity to lead Australia in a Test match and the rest of this series, it's an amazing thrill.”

Haddin, who was a deputy to Michael Clarke, will continue in the same capacity. He had seen Australia to victory in the first Test at Adelaide after Clarke had walked off with a right hamstring injury on the final day.

"I'm extremely close to Brad and when I told him yesterday that Rod called me, I think he knew what was going on,” he said when asked if he had chat with Haddin, whose chances had enhanced after Australia’s win.

“He's over the moon for me, he's proud as punch. I'm certainly going to look to Brad out there as Michael always does. He's a terrific team-man and he's got a great cricket brain as well. He's certainly someone I can lean on out in the middle as well. I know coming out at the Gabba (the venue for the second Test), our senior guys will support me 100%, and
Haddin, who I'm very close with, as the vice-captain will be right behind me.”

Smith said while he aimed to lead from the front at Gabba, he had no intention of deviating from attacking style of Clarke. "I said to the boys this morning that I had no intention of changing any plans of anything we've been doing over the past 18 months," Smith said. "We've come a long way and we've been playing some very good cricket and we're going to continue playing that aggressive, positive brand of cricket."

Clarke to undergo surgery

Clarke’s thin hopes returning to action before the World Cup may have just gone up in smoke after the 33-year-old was advised to undergo operation to fix his injured right hamstring. The right-hander played through sore back and left hamstring in the first Test and had suggested he may never play again.    

 “Michael was assessed by a surgeon in Melbourne early this evening and will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to repair his injured right hamstring. Whilst surgery is not always required with hamstring injuries, Michael has substantial damage to a key part of the hamstring tendon and it was felt the best course of action was to surgically repair the damaged area,” said Australian Team Doctor Peter Brukner.

“His recovery and the timing of his return to play will be dependent on the surgeon’s advice and how well he recovers in the coming weeks.”

Smith’s swift rise to the top job in Australian cricket

* Born June 2, 1989 in Sydney.
* Started his career as a promising legspin bowler and middle order batsman but is now primarily a batsman.
* Made his debut for Australia aged 20 in a Twenty20 match against Pakistan on Feb. 2010, taking two wickets and scoring eight runs.
* He has gone to play 21 T20s for Australia, with a high score of 34 and best bowling figures of 3-20.
* Made his one-day international debut for Australia in Feb. 2010, against the West Indies, taking two wickets but did not bat.
* Has since played 45 ODIs, scoring 921 runs at an average of 31.75. He has scored two hundreds and three 50s.
He was picked for Australia's Test team in mid 2010, aged 21, against Pakistan at Lord's.
* He has played 23 Tests, scoring 1,749 runs at an average of 46.02 with five hundreds, nine half-centuries and a high score of 162 not out, against India at Adelaide Oval last week.
* Smith was dropped from the Test team in early 2011 after making just two half-centuries from his first five Tests.
* He was recalled to the Test team just over two years later, making 92 on return.
He scored his first Test century, an unbeaten 138, in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval last year, then two more in the 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia.
* He was named in Dec 2014 as Australia's 45th Test captain, taking over from Michael Clarke after he injured his hamstring in the first Test with India.

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