Steven Smith had captained Australia late last year © Getty Images
Steven Smith had captained Australia late last year © Getty Images

Australia on Friday announced that the 26-year-old Steven Smith will be taking over as the full-time captain of their Test team as well, after the end of the Ashes 2015. Michael Clarke had announced his retirement from international cricket after the Ashes in England, which Australia have already lost 3-1 to England. Smith’s first assignment as the full time captain of Australia will be on the tour of Bangladesh, wherein they will play two Tests alongside limited-overs cricket matches.

Earlier this week, Smith was heralded as Australia’s next captain in the One-Day International (ODI) format. Clarke had retired from 50-over cricket after the end of a successful campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Australia have not played any ODI match since the final on March 29 against New Zealand. ALSO READ: Steven Smith named captain as Australia announce squad for England, Ireland ODIs; Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis among 7 new faces

Smith’s confirmation as Test captain was merely a formality completed by Cricket Australia (CA), as the young batsman was set to replace Clarke as the full time captain after the latter’s retirement. He was Australia’s choice as the leader when Clarke was unavailable for selection due to a back injury late last year, during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15. Australia won the series against India by a margin of 2-0. Smith captained them in the last two Tests — Australia won the third Test but India managed to force a draw in the final clash at Sydney.

The challenge against Smith will be a massive one — he will be leading a team which will be without their preferred players in Chris Rogers (opener) and Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper). Both these cricketers, alongside Clarke, will be retiring from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes 2015. Smith will be assisted by David Warner, who has been confirmed as Australia’s vice-captain.  ALSO READ: David Warner emerges as strong candidate for Australia’s vice-captaincy post