Kim Hughes, McGrath back Smith to lead in Clarke's absence
Sydney: As serious doubts remain over Michael Clarke's participation in the first Test against India, Steven Smith is being looked by many as a front-runner to lead Australia in the regular skipper's absence.
Even though vice-captain Brad Haddin is expected to step up as skipper in Clarke's absence when Australia take on India in Brisbane in the first Test on December 4, but many have called for Smith to get his opportunity as he is seen as the long-term successor.
Former Australia captain Kim Hughes has urged Cricket Australia to roll the dice by elevating Smith to the Test captaincy if hamstrung Clarke is ruled out of the opening match for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Gabba.
"What's the point of picking Brad Haddin? Give the young bloke a go. Smith did an outstanding job in last year's Sheffield Shield final. He batted himself at three. He led from the front. He looks a natural to me and he'd have help there in Haddin behind the stumps. Australia will have a strong bowling attack for him to play with," Hughes told The Australian.
"It's against India and it's in Australia. It's not like we're facing the West Indies in their prime. India won't have MS Dhoni so he'll be going toe-to-toe with an inexperienced Indian captain. Give him a shot. My gut feeling is that he'd do an outstanding job against an average Indian side," he said.