Ashes 2017-18

Ashes 2017-18: Acid test for Steve Smith as captain


Internet Desk: Ashes is set to start in three days time and it would be an acid test for Australian captain Steve Smith as he will be leading the side for the first time in this grand event.

In his two years of captaincy, Smith has done really well as captain. He has also scored a bulk amount of runs in this period of time.

None of that will matter, however, should Australia fail to win back the Ashes on home soil over the next six weeks.

"An Ashes series as an Australian or England captain is the biggest thing that you play for and the biggest thing of your captaincy life," former skipper Ricky Ponting said in June.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s those series that you are remembered for as a leader and as a player as well."

As the last captain to lose to England at home in 2010/11, Ponting should know.

Despite scoring more test runs than any other Australian and holding a national record of 48 wins in charge, Ponting stepped down two months after the 3-1 series loss, handing the reins to Michael Clarke.

None were surprised. For many in the ranks of the disaffected, it was the least he could do.

Smith was a left-field inclusion midway through that ill-fated series, rushed into the team by panicking selectors seeking a legspinning successor to the great Shane Warne.

He lasted only three tests before being thrown back into the international wilderness but the resulting two-year exile would be the making of Smith, who used the time to reinvent himself as a specialist batsman.

With Reuters inputs.

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