Rahul Dravid calls Michael Clarke’s inclusion in World Cup side, “very Un-Australian”
Rahul Dravid (left) shares a joke with Michael Clarke during a IPL match in 2012

Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid expressed his surprise at the inclusion of Michael Clarke in Australia’s squad for the World Cup starting next month. Clarke has serious injury concerns and Dravid termed the Australian selectors’ decision as “un-Australian”.

The Australian captain hasn’t played since picking up a hamstring injury in the first Test against India in Adelaide in December last year. He has been given a deadline of February 21 by the selectors to prove his fitness.

As reported by MiD-Day, Dravid said, “I just hope it is not an emotional decision. You just felt they had to take this decision. It’s almost a very un-Australian decision. We’ve seen the Australian selectors take some very emotional decisions especially with Michael Clarke.”

“Even with the decision to allow him to play in the Test match, you can understand that. That can be distracting to the rest of the squad. How they manage that environment and everything around that will be their biggest challenge in the lead up to the World Cup.”

Dravid believes that Steve Smith, who has had a phenomenal summer, can fill in for Clarke without weakening the Australian side. Smith

“Clarke has been a very good performer for them. But without him being in the squad and bring Smith into it, they don’t look a weaker side at all. In fact some people may argue they actually look a better side with Smith bringing energy to fielding department. Smith is as good a player of spin in the middle overs as Clarke and in the best form of his life,” said Dravid, who has represented India in three World Cups 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Dravid has seen Smith’s growth closely, as the Australian is a part of Rajasthan Royals, of which Dravid was a captain and now is a mentor.