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Steven Smith deserves a break - David Warner

David Warner (right) will lead Australia in the absence of Steven Smith (right)
David Warner (right) will lead Australia in the absence of Steven Smith (right)
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian stand-in captain David Warner has stated that Steven Smith fully deserves a break after having performed exceptionally well in all forms of the game.

The Australian team management decided to rest Smith for the remaining games of the tour of Sri Lanka and have named Warner as the stand-in captain.

This move was aimed at keeping Smith fresh for the upcoming hectic season but it has drawn mixed responses from current and former players.

Maintaining that the timing of Smith’s break is not a problem, Warner said that the 27-year-old deserves the rest after the amount of cricket he played in the recent past.

“I can feel for Steve (Smith) and the amount of cricket he has been playing,” Warner said.

“The stats he has on the board, runs-wise and the world’s best batter and player, I think he deserves a break whether or not it was during the series or before the series.”

This will be the first time that Warner is leading Australia and the 29-year-old has the experience of captaincy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden title earlier this year.

Warner admitted that the IPL experience has taught him a lot about captaincy and he is eager to lead Australia for the first time.

“Over the last couple of years, the experience in the IPL has given me a great insight into myself as a person.

“You always think you’ve got capabilities of being a captain and a leader, but it’s about getting feedback from your peers and how they come to you when a challenge arises.

“I’ve had some great feedback over the last couple of years in the IPL, now it’s about putting my mind out here come this game and see what I can bring to the table as a captain.”

To replace Smith in the batting line up, Australia have the option of Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh and the latter is likely to get a look in after his fantastic century in the third Test against Sri Lanka.

Lauding Marsh’s recent Test century, Warner said that the players on the bench are always hungry to grab their chances which shows the depth Australia have in their ranks.

“We know what he’s capable of, he came out and blasted a hundred and that’s what happens when you have guys on the boundary running the drinks and bending over backwards to do everything they can to try and get out there.

“He put his hand up, he got the opportunity and he took it.

“And that just shows the hunger the guys have that aren’t having that selection fortune by being put in the team.

“They are always constantly putting their hand up and that shows the strength and depth we have in Australian cricket today.”

After two games in the five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and Australia, the score line is tied 1-1 and both the teams will be keen to take the lead in the third game on Sunday.

© Cricket World 2016