Steve Smith might become Australia skipper in the Tests once again. The Australian batsman was stripped of his captaincy after the infamous sandpaper -gate scandal in 2018. Skipper Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were guilty of using sandpaper to tamper the ball during a Test match against South Africa in 2018. As a result, Smith and Warner were banned for 1 year while Bancroft was banned for 9 months from all forms of cricket.
Steve Smith was also banned from leading the side for the next two years. The ban ended in May 2020. Tim Paine has been taking charge of the leadership in Test cricket for Australia. However, since his stats as a skipper have not been so impressive, Steve Smith might be looked upon to lead Australia’s Test side in the future.
Paine and Australia team were severely criticized for their 2-1 loss against India in Border-Gavaskar Test series 2020-21 at home in January this year. The series loss also made a huge impact on India’s entry as the 2nd finalist in the ICC World Test Championship final.
Steve Smith Has Better Record As Test Captain
Steve Smith led the Australia Test side from 2014 to 2018. In 34 Test matches, Smith led Australia to 18 wins and 10 loss while 6 matches ended in a draw. He has a win percentage of 52.94. On the other hand, Tim Paine has led Australia in 23 matches since 2018.
Australia won 11 matches of these and lost 8 while 4 ended in a draw. Paine has a win percentage of 47.82 in Tests. Moreover, Smith has performed far well in batting than Tim Paine after his comeback to the team.
Dr Simon Langstaff, who led the probe in the sandpaper-gate scandal, believes that people should be given all opportunities after they have paid the penalty for their wrongdoing.
“I’ve always believed that if people have done the wrong thing, have paid a particular penalty and they show that they have been open in their acceptance of wrongdoing and genuinely remorseful, then they should not be excluded for all opportunities into the future.
“And I would apply that to Steven Smith,” Longstaff, head of the Ethics Centre, was quoted as saying by The Age newspaper.
Australia is set to face England in the forthcoming Ashes tournament. The Ashes 2021-22 will take place around December 2021 and January 2022.
The Test tournament will be held in Australia this time. The tournament holds a massive weightage in Australian and England cricket. The schedule for the Ashes tournament will be announced by Cricket Australia on May 12-13. The last Ashes series in 2019 ended in a tie 2-2.