Steven Smith was appointed captain for remainder of the Test series against India © Getty Images
Steven Smith was appointed captain for remainder of the Test series against India © Getty Images

Brisbane: Dec 15, 2014

Rod Marsh, the Australia selector, has congratulated Steven Smith on his appointment as Australia’s Test captain in the absence of Michael Clarke. Marsh said: “These are difficult circumstances given Michael’s injury and the fact that we don’t know how long he will be out of the game. What we do know is that it won’t be an overnight fix so after a lot of thought we have taken the opportunity to appoint an emerging young leader as captain until such time as Michael regains fitness and returns to the side.

“We congratulate Steve on the wonderful honour of leading his country. On Wednesday he will become Australia’s 45th Test captain and at the age of 25 will become one of our youngest leaders.”

Marsh paid tribute to Haddin, aged 37, saying he had “done an exceptional job as vice-captain since assuming the role last year and will provide strong support to Steve just as he has done for Michael. “There was a strong argument for Brad to assume the captaincy until Michael returns, but given we don’t know how long that will be, we felt the time was right to take a longer-term view and give a young player this chance.”

Clarke is now focusing on getting fit for the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, which starts on February 14. He was disconsolate following Australia’s 48-run first Adelaide Test win over India after being forced off with a torn right hamstring.