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    Greg Chappell backs Smith for Ashes

    Former Australian captain said talented leg spinner could play an important role in the Ashes.

    Sydney: Former Australian captain Greg Chappell said all rounder Steven Smith should be included in the Ashes team after his splendid performance in the World Twenty20.

    Chappell, who has worked with Smith at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence, said the talented leg spinner can play an important role in the Ashes.

    "He is (part of the Ashes plans) in my view."

    "In Australia, through the history of cricket, good wrist-spin bowling has been very successful and I think he has the capabilities to do that, and it gives you the opportunity to play two spinners. Remember that Richie Benaud played for three or four years as a batsman predominantly, and bowled the odd over here or there. I can see Steve Smith doing that in the early days of his career," Chappell was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.

    Smith bowled a brilliant spell against West Indies taking three for 20.

    Chappell says his talents extend well beyond the Twenty20 arena.

    Smith boasts a first-class batting average of 56.22 in 13 games, which suggests that by batting in the top seven he could co-exist in the Test team with established off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.

    Chappell has inspired Smith to develop all facets of his game rather than concentrate on one or the other, and regards him as precisely the kind of cricketer the selectors should promote across the formats.