Tim Paine and Steve Smith
Tim Paine and Steve Smith (Image Credit: Getty)

Former Australia captain Mark Taylor raises his voice for Australian batsman Steve Smith to return as the Test captain in Ashes.

Australia’s regular Test captain Tim Paine will undergo surgery for a pinched nerve in his neck, which will take him time to recover before the Ashes. But the Hobart-born cricket is confident of making it in the Australian squad in the opening match against England in Brisbane.

I wouldn’t rule out Steve Smith to come back and captain Australia: Mark Taylor

Smith was removed from Australia’s captaincy role after the infamous ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in the third Test in Cape Town in 2018 which led to him and his deputy David Warner receiving a one-year suspension from Cricket Australia.

However, Smith and Warner returned to the national team to play the 2019 World Cup in England and also participated in the 2019 Ashes which they successfully retained after levelling the series 2-2.

David Warner and Steve Smith
David Warner and Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Australian pace bowler Pat Cummins is the likely replacement for Tim Paine as the team’s captain by the virtue of being the vice-captain of the team but Taylor said that he wouldn’t rule out Steve Smith from that position.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor. Image-Reuters

“I wouldn’t rule out Steve Smith to come back and captain Australia. I think enough time, enough water has gone under the bridge since 2018 and what happened in South Africa. Pat Cummins would certainly be in the pole position given he’s the vice-captain at the moment. I think Australia have options. I was absolutely surprised about the Tim Paine news,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports.

I think at this stage the running is certainly between Alex Carey and Matthew Wade should Paine not play: Mark Taylor

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade. (Photo: Twitter)

Taylor feels that either Matthew Wade or Alex Carey should don the wicket-keeper gloves in case Paine remains unavailable instead of young sensational players like Joshua Philippe and Josh Inglis.

“I think for Test matches not at this stage (Inglis and Philippe are no chance), no. I don’t think they have done enough for their respective states. They may have done some good stuff in Big Bash and that white-ball form of the game, but I think both of those guys would need to show me they’re tried and true first-class performers before I pick them for a Test match. I think at this stage the running is certainly between Carey and Wade should Paine not play,” Taylor said. 

The Ashes is unlikely to take place if senior England players withdraw their names depending on the quarantine rules in Australia during that period.

Also Read: Ashes 2021/22: England Players Will Be Allowed To Come Back Home After Playing Three Of Five Allotted Tests – Reports