New Delhi: Former India captain Rahul Dravid has expressed surprise at the inclusion of Michael Clarke in the Australian squad for the upcoming World Cup despite injury concerns, terming the decision of the selectors as "un-Australian".
Michael Clarke. Inset: Rahul Dravid.
Clarke has not played since picking up a hamstring injury in the first Test against India in Adelaide in early December last, and he has been given a deadline of February 21, when Australia play Bangladesh in Brisbane, by the selectors to prove his fitness.
“I just hope it is not an emotional decision. You just felt they had to take this decision. It’s almost a very un-Australian decision. We’ve seen the Australian selectors take some very emotional decisions especially with Michael Clarke,” Dravid said.
“Even with the decision to allow him to play in the Test match, you can understand that. That can be distracting to the rest of the squad. How they manage that environment and everything around that will be their biggest challenge in the lead up to the World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Dravid said Steven Smith can fill in for Clarke without weakening the Australian side.
“Clarke has been a very good performer for them. But without him being in the squad and bring Smith into it, they don’t look a weaker side at all. In fact some people may argue they actually look a better side with Smith bringing energy to fielding department. Smith is as good a player of spin in the middle overs as Clarke and in the best form of his life,” said the former Indian captain.