Former Australian captain Michael Clarke is quite concerned with the way National selectors handled the business ahead of the coveted T20 World Cup 2022. Michael Clarke has noted that Steve Smith has not been included in the squad. Smith and played Cameron Green at the top against the West Indies. Australia shuffled their batting order in the first T20I against the West Indies on the Gold Coast, opening with Green and David Warner. Skipper Aaron Finch, who has struggled at the top, batted at No. 4 to let Green continue where he left off following an impressive series against India.
Michael Clarke opens up on the decision of dropping out Steve Smith
Speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, Michael Clarke stated that Smith had to play to regain his T20I form and get more clarity on his batting position. The 41-year-old stated that Smith didn’t play as Australia needed an extra bowling option. Clarke explained:
“The most important thing right now is we prepare for this World Cup, so Steve Smith’s form in Twenty20 cricket over the last couple of years hasn’t been as good as he would like. He’s got to play. My theory is this, Mitch Marsh wasn’t bowling so they had to pick Cameron Green over Steve Smith to give us an extra bowling option, but what they’re doing is shooting themselves in the foot at the moment.”
Michael Clarke continued:
“He’s got to play and he’s got to own his role, is he going to bat 4, is he going to bat 3? You’ve got to let him play so even it if it means you play one bowler short in these games, I still think you’ve got to allow your players to play.”
Clarke predicted that Smith could bat at No. 4 and wants him to play all the games leading up to the World Cup as he is too good a player to miss out on. The World Cup-winning skipper added:
“Again, with Mitch Marsh they want him to bat at number 3, so Smith is going to be the one to bat at number 4, let him play these games, let him play every game so he goes into the World Cup at his best. He will find a way to make runs, he’s too good a player in any format, especially at a World Cup.”
Ahead of the second T20I against the Windies in Brisbane, Smith had opened up on his omission, stating that the hosts needed six bowling options. The 33-year-old also said that he remains uncertain whether Australia will follow the same path moving forward.