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How Steve Smith was chosen as Australian cricket captain in an Adelaide bar

Steve Smith was named Michael Clarke’s successor post Australia’s win over India in Adelaide.

cricket Updated: Oct 25, 2017 19:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Steve Smith,Australian cricket team,Michael Clarke
Steve Smith leads Australian cricket team in all three formats. (PTI)

For someone who made his Test debut as a leg-spinner, Steve Smith’s journey to Australia’s captaincy and to the world No 1 spot in ICC Rankings for batsmen in Test cricket has been a memorable one. (India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI - HIGHLIGHTS)

Smith leads his country in all three formats. It has been a drastic transformation for a rookie leg-spinner into world’s top batsman in Test cricket with one of the highest ever rating points — 936 at present, 939 during India tour earlier in 2017. (India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI - SCORECARD)

The 28-year-old Smith, who is all set to lead Australia for the first time in the Ashes, has had a tough ride so far as a captain. The series defeats to Sri Lanka (away), South Africa (home and away) and India (away), have not really produced encouraging results.

But how did Smith happen to become Australia captain ahead of the likes of David Warner and even Chris Rogers? According to ESPNCricinfo, it was in a bar in Adelaide after Australia had defeated India in 2014-15 series in a tense finish that Smith’s name came up.

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Smith revealed, “It was a really interesting conversation actually between myself, Brad and Mark Taylor at the time. We’d just won the Test in Adelaide, Michael (Clarke) was off getting scans and stuff I think. We were down at the bar at the Sebel in Adelaide and talking about what was next, the game in Brisbane. And Mark Taylor just said to Hadds (Brad Haddin) — are you ready to captain? He said ‘nah, I think Steve should do it’. I was like ‘sorry!?’

He continued, “I had no idea. I was all spur of the moment sort of things. So Tubby (Taylor) said to Hadds ‘are you sure, are you sure this is what you want’. He said ‘absolutely. I think he’s the right man to do it and it’s a great opportunity for him, I’ll be there to help him and things like that’. Tubby was like ‘right, I’d better make a few calls to the board members and see if we can get this cleared’.”

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Smith added, “I got a call from Rod Marsh the next morning, saying ‘we’ve endorsed you as captain, we’re still waiting on all the board to approve it and stuff but dare say it’ll go through. So congratulations you’re going to be the 45th Test captain’. That was quite amazing to hear those kind of things. Growing up as kid you just want to play cricket for Australia and have that dream, but to captain the side was quite amazing.”

“Tubby presented me with [captain’s] blazer [in Brisbane]. I’ll never forget that. I didn’t want to change too much at the time, I was just filling in for Michael. It was a great honour, and fortunate to have some experienced players around,” he expressed.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 19:05 IST