Steve Smith (above) has been officially named Australian vice-captain, but would lead the Test side for the rest of this series with Michael Clarke on the sidelines Getty Images
Steve Smith (above) has been officially named Australian vice-captain, but would lead the Test side for the rest of this series with Michael Clarke on the sidelines Getty Images

Sydney: Dec 16, 2014

Australia batsman Steve Smith is confident that he would be able to successfully lead senior players until Michael Clarke returns, as his appointment as the team’s 45th Test captain reportedly came as a shock to even teammates.

Speculations had been rife that the respected Brad Haddin would take over as the interim skipper, but National Selector Rod Marsh instead recommended man of the future Smith to the board after the long-term nature of Clarke’s injury situation came to light.

There is a chance that Smith could also captain Australia at the World Cup instead of George Bailey should Clarke fail to recover, but at this stage the focus is on how the 25-year-old would perform in the second Test at the Gabba on Wednesday, News.com.au reported.

Smith has been officially named Australian vice-captain, but would lead the Test side for the rest of this series with Clarke on the sidelines. How long his current tenure lasts remains to be seen, but Clarke is aiming to be back for the Test tours of the West Indies and England next year. However, Smith has been anointed the heir to the throne ultimately.

Smith is the third-youngest captain in Australian Test history but spoke assuredly about being ready for the highest-pressure job in Australian sport. He admitted that he was under prepared for his Test debut as a 20-year-old in 2010 against Pakistan, but the same doesn’t apply to his captaincy call-up.

Smith claimed that he is ready to take charge of the team, adding that it is an amazing thrill for this to come up so quickly.

And he’s also unfazed about leading players with vastly more experience than himself. He claimed that he knows coming out at the Gabba, their senior guys would support him 100 percent.

The process to name Smith captain was a complicated one, and was only kicked into action when Clarke revealed after the first Test that he was a chance of never playing again.

Haddin has been praised as a crucial figure in Clarke’s success as captain, and again his experience and the respect he commands around the group would be crucial in Smith’s early steps as skipper.

Teammates were fully expecting Haddin to take over, but team performance manager Pat Howard denied that the veteran wicketkeeper was upset at being overlooked for interim captaincy and demoted from the vice-captaincy once Clarke returns, the report added.