New Delhi: Australia let India off the hook in the first ODI before losing the rain-shortened match in Chennai by 26 runs (D/L method), which, according to Michael Clarke, puts a question mark over Steve Smith’s captaincy that will be put to another test in the second ODI at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Thursday.
India were 11/3, 64/4 and then 87/5 after opting to bat in the first ODI of the five-match series. But the Aussie bowlers had no answers to Hardika Pandya’s aggression and MS Dhoni’s controlled approach as the duo scored contrasting half-centuries in a partnership of 118 runs to bail out the hosts and take the total to 281/7.
Clarke felt that while there’s no doubt about Smith’s batting, his captaincy has lately come under a cloud.
“Smith’s batting has been outstanding for a long time but his captaincy is challenged now. He needs to define the way for his team to have success,” Clarke was quoted as saying by PTI.
Australia could only manage to draw the two-Test series in Bangladesh after losing the first Test.
“It’s high time that Australia make a comeback. I think this (2nd ODI in Kolkata) is the match that will decide the course of the series,” Clarke said.
The former Australia captain was in Kolkata to present Fanattic Sports Museum the bat that Don Bradman used during India’s first tour of Australia in 1948.