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Ricky Ponting feels Steven Smith should be the next Australian captain

Steven Smith has won Ricky Ponting's backing to succeed Michael Clarke as Australia's next ODI skipper. The cricket World Cup final, played in Melbourne on Sunday, was Clarke's last ODI and Smith played a solid hand in as Australia won the coveted Cup for a record fifth time.

Smith anchored Australia's chase against New Zealand on Sunday. He was unbeaten on 56 as Australia coasted to glory after Clarke struck a 72-ball 74 to knock to ensure there were no hiccups en route to the 184-run target. Smith's responsible role by now has become common place for the Australians. He has lead his team every time Australia needed it.

Ponting sees no debate on who should succeed Clarke as ODI skipper. Although George Bailey has done the job for Australia, Ponting actually sees a bigger role for the 25-year-old Smith from New South Wales.

"I am a huge George Bailey fan, we have played a lot of state cricket together," Ponting said.


He's also been a great leader, but this guy, Smith, is just in the prime of his career right now. He is playing beautifully, and it looks like he has sewn down the No. 3 batting spot, potentially even in the Test team.

"With Clarke making the decision to retire from one-day cricket, you would think he's only got a couple of years of Test cricket left in him, so Smith should be serving as one-day captain to be totally ready to take over the Test job when Michael finishes."

Ponting, who played in three World Cup winning finals, thinks Australia have the building blocks in place to dominate one-day cricket in the years to come. He credited Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann for ensuring the balance of the squad was "spot on" going into the tournament.

And with Smith around, the leadership role will be in safe hands.

Source: NDTV

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