Australian injured skipper Michael Clarke has said he feels sympathy for Steven Smith as media conjecture billow around the leadership of the Australian cricket team while the injured captain continues his recuperation. Following Steven Smith‘s promotion to the Australian vice-captaincy and successful stretch at the tiller during the Border-Gavaskar Test series against India while Clarke recovered from hamstring surgery, the captain can see parallels to the scenery 4 years ago involving Ricky Ponting.

Ricky Ponting renounced Australia’s Test and One Day International captaincy in March, 2011 following Australia’s quarter-final exit at the World Cup. After 77 Tests and 228 One Day Internationals as captain, he handed over this responsibility to Clarke, made himself available for selection as a batsman and played a further 16 Tests and One Day Internationals.

He was quoted saying:  “I feel for Smiddy [Smith], because I sat in his shoes when a lot of the media were trying to call for Ricky Ponting to retire. It’s certainly not personal between Smiddy and I, we’ve been friends for a long time and will continue to be. The people that sit above both him and I will make their decisions. Whatever they feel is the best eleven players, they’ll pick that eleven. Whoever they feel is the best captain for the team, then they’ll pick that. If my time is over as a player – or as a captain – then, you know, the game moves on.”

He still thinks he has a lot to give the team, he still feels like he can perform and help the team have success, but that is out of his hands. The most crucial thing for him is to get fit and healthy.

He concluded saying that he would like to know where it is coming from. He has not been around the team. For the last 7 weeks or so he has been away from the squad. He feels like his relationship with Cricket Australia, certainly with his teammates, is exceptional.