Former Australia World Cup-winning skipper Michael Clarke has slammed his successor Steven Smith for putting Australia in a dire situation with debatable moves before the Ashes 2017-18 will kick-off on November 23 at Gabba in Brisbane.
“(It was a) complete circus what happened after the South African series. They dropped Nevill and made that tough decision,” Clarke told Channel Nine’s Sport Sunday and was quoted by News Corp Australia.
With England squad already in Australia and participating in the ongoing practice match against Western Australia, the 36-year-old Clarke has condemned the comments of Smith, who urged to his New South Wales teammate and gloveman Peter Nevill to talk more behind the stumps during the ongoing JLT Sheffield Shield four-day competition.
“That’s a load of rubbish. It’s not what you say,” infuriated Clarke added.
The recent presser from Smith didn’t sit well with Clarke, who reiterated wicket-keeper is meant to do his job with gloves.
“You’ve got to be good with the gloves. Steve Smith again said this week in a press conference that if Peter Nevill is to come back into the side he would like to hear more from him,” Clarke further added.
It’s pertinent to note that, Nevill was shown the exit door by selectors in 2016 before unimpressive Matthew Wade was called in to deliver for Australia and Clarke feels the hosts are supposed to stick with incumbent gloveman.
“He shouldn’t have been dropped. Now they have to go with Matthew Wade,” Clarke maintained.
While facing the media on a regular basis, Smith has been under radar owing to his decision in the national fold which further saw the former cricketers raising pertinent question against 28-year-old batsman.
However, the 36-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator led Australia in 2013-14 Ashes series when the hosts routed England 5-0 following the devastating bowling from Mitchell Johnson, who bagged 37 wickets in the grueling series.
Moreover, Clarke wants Smith to focus on the game as the competition is eagerly-awaited across the cricketing globe.
Interestingly, Clarke has backed first-choice gloveman Wade, after lambasting Smith over dropping Nevill from the national set-up.
Clarke takes a dig at Smith for his hand in overlooking prominent figure and former Australian Test cricketer Ed Cowan in the domestic competition.
After retiring from international cricket in 2015, Clarke reminisced he hasn’t paid a visit to the team’s dressing room, as he has a great regard for the current crop of players, who are enjoying the space.
“I haven’t been back in since I retired. It’s a respect thing for current players. I feel because I’m only a couple of years out of the game I don’t want to tread — I had my time there,” Clarke said.
With wicket-keeping position yet to be decided, Clarke revealed the conundrum regarding the position has somehow affected the side.
On the other side, Clarke has backed the sledding remarks from Vice-captain David Warner who recently caused a controversy, as the former believes communication has had to play an imperative role which would eventually help the hosts to dominate in the series Down Under.
“I actually, I agree with David Warner that the Australian team, especially with their fast bowlers need to play an aggressive positive brand of cricket,” Clarke concluded.
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Clarke played 115 Tests for Australia in which he amassed 8,643 runs at an average of 49.10.