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Cricket Australia named Steven Smith new Test captain

Steve Smith was named Australia's new Test captain on Friday and will replace Michael Clarke, who announced his retirement after his side's drubbing in the current Ashes series, ESPNcricinfo reports. David Warner, 28, will be the vice-captain of the Test team.

Steve Smith (R), the new Aussie test captain with his deputy David Warner

Steve Smith was named Australia's new Test captain on Friday and will replace Michael Clarke, who announced his retirement after his side's drubbing in the current Ashes series, ESPNcricinfo reports. David Warner, 28, will be the vice-captain of the Test team.

Smith captained the Test side during the three Tests last summer when Clarke was recovering from a hamstring injury. Clarke, 34, decided to retire after his side lost the Ashes with a heavy defeat by England at Trent Bridge, which gave the hosts a 3-1 lead.

The NSW batsman, Smith has played in 32 Tests, scoring 2,952 runs at an average of 54.66.

"At 26, Steve is a fine young man with extraordinary talent," said national selector Rod Marsh. "He is highly regarded by the selectors and we congratulate him on being appointed to the role on an ongoing basis. He should be incredibly proud."

"When Michael made his decision to retire last week it was a very straightforward decision for us to nominate Steve as his successor," added Marsh. "He has big shoes to fill but everything about him suggests he is the right man for the job."

Smith may also have to move down the order to provide stability to a considerably young batting line-up. When asked about which number he will bat at, Smith said: "I haven't decided yet, I've been thinking about it and it is also going to come down to the makeup of the team and what will fit best. I haven't completely decided to stay at three or not, we will wait and see. I batted four at the back end of last summer when Michael was out and I was quite successful batting there as well.

"I'll just have to wait and see what the makeup of the team is and what sits best with the team and we'll see from there."

Smith has also scored a century in every test match he captained last summer, and has promised to be less defensive if handed the job of captaining the nation's eleven.

"If I am named the captain I would like to lead from the front with my performances, for sure," he said this week.

Smith will look to turn Australian fortunes around after their humiliating 3-1 series loss to England in The Ashes. 

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