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Australia v England Ashes: Michael Clarke’s dire warning to Steve Smith amid captaincy debate

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Aussie cricket great Michael Clarke has issued a timely warning to Steve Smith ahead of his likely return to the leadership ranks of the Test side.

Cricket Australia is expected to announce Tim Paine’s successor as Test skipper by the end of the week, with 32-year-old Smith tipped to be installed as vice-captain.

Pat Cummins is believed to have the top job locked up and will become the first fast bowler to lead the side since Ray Lindwall in 1956.

While many in the cricket world believe Smith will seamlessly step up to assist Cummins with the captaincy, Clarke has warned the batting star and former captain about getting too involved in decision making.

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“He’s got to be careful Smithy, because he copped some criticism for doing that when Tim Paine took over the captaincy as well,” Clarke told The Big Sports Breakfast.

“That he was standing in slip waving his hands, moving the field. If he is vice-captain or even if he is not, he has got to be very careful. There can only be one captain on the field.

“That is what leadership is about as well, owning that. If it is Pat Cummins, he can take advice and guidance but then it’s up to him to be making the decisions.”

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Clarke, who has publicly backed Cummins as the next captain, recalled a contentious moment in India’s tour of Australia last summer as evidence of what can happen when Smith steps over the line.

Michael Clarke has issued a timely warning to Steve Smith. Credit: Getty

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