RESTING: Australian captain Steve Smith.
RESTING: Australian captain Steve Smith. Eranga Jayawardena

Smith spell gives Warner experience

Darren Lehmann says the decision to send captain Steve Smith (pictured) home halfway through the one-day international series in Sri Lanka also is about giving David Warner experience as captain as well as giving Smith a rest.

Several ex-Australian cricketers, including former skipper Michael Clarke, have criticised the decision.

"I would of [sic] liked to have seen the captain play until the series was won and then have a rest,” Clarke posted on Twitter.

"In the same breath if Smithy needed a break then he should have flown home after the Test matches not 2x ODIs in.”

Clarke was responding to a post from former Test opener Michael Slater, who was also critical of allowing Smith to leave the tour.

But Lehmann, who said that talks about Smith's departure had taken place before the 3-0 Test series loss, also added that this was the best thing for the skipper and the team.

"We respect our former captains and former greats who have an opinion,” Lehmann said before tomorrow's third ODI.

"There's no dramas, they're entitled to that.

"But we think it's the best thing for Steven to get him right and ready to go.

"We planned that for a long time and he (Smith) took some convincing, there's no doubt about that.

"But as a coach and a selection panel we're making sure he's fresh and ready to go each and every time he plays for Australia.

"We just wanted to make sure that he's fresh and ready to go for South Africa and then the big summer ahead.”


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