Left-handed Australian batsman, Usman Khawaja feels that Steve Smith should be given the captaincy back if he wants it. Smith was stripped of the captaincy after the ‘Sandpapergate’ fiasco in March 2018 in South Africa.
In addition to his one-year ban from cricket, Smith was also handed an extra year suspension from captaincy. But now, he is eligible to lead the side once again, and with Australia under Tim Paine, losing to India at home, despite taking an early lead in the series, there have been calls for change in captaincy.
While it seems as the first-choice for Paine’s replacement will be the vice-captain, Pat Cummins, or Travis Head; some have even demanded Marnus Labushchagne to be put at the helm.
Usman Khawaja believes that if Smith is willing to lead the team again, then he should be given the reins. The left-hander points out that not only Smith is their best batsman, but has plenty of earlier experience of captaining the side.
As quoted by Fox Cricket, Usman Khawaja said, “If Steve Smith wants to captain Australia, I think he should captain Australia. He’s our number one batsman, he’s done it before, he’s paid for his mistakes, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in line for the captaincy if wants to do it.”
There’s still a lot of hard work to be done: Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja is eyeing his return to the national setup after being dropped since the 2019 Ashes in England. The southpaw has been in brilliant form in the domestic season with the two latest scores being 115* and 93 while leading Queensland. He was also amongst runs in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder – but remained often under shadowed by his opening partner Alex Hales.
With Australia losing to India at home as most of the batters were disappointing, former captain, Michael Clarke called for Usman Khawaja to be recalled back to the Test side.
“It’s always nice to get support from an ex-Test captain. He’s a gun player himself, but I don’t read too much into it. I feel good. All season actually I’ve felt really good. Sometimes that always doesn’t translate to runs.
“You can’t get too relaxed on yourself and think that things are going to work out. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done. When things are going well, you just try to keep doing the same thing for as long as you can, because there are plenty of time when things don’t go well, no matter who you are. Hopefully, I can keep getting runs for Queensland and we can win more games,” Usman Khawaja, 34, added.