Australia head coach Justin Langer has brushed aside the possibility of Steve Smith returning as the national team’s captain, at least in the near future. Three years after Steve Smith lost his captaincy following the ball-tampering fiasco in South Africa, there have been discussions around the elite and the best Test batsman of this era retaking the spot. Not only that, Smith has expressed his desire to captain the side again if given the chance. But Justin Langer chose to keep faith in the current leaders – Aaron Finch and Tim Paine despite both producing mixed results in white-ball and red-ball cricket, respectively.
Cricket Australia banned Steve Smith from being captain one year after returning to international cricket, owing to the ball-tampering saga. Smith became eligible for captaincy in April 2020; however, he has not led the nation in any format yet. The 31-year old was expected to lead in the second T20I last year against India when Aaron Finch had to stay out due to injury, but Matthew Wade served as the skipper. The argument has resurfaced after Australia’s second consecutive unsuccessful attempt to beat India at home in Tests.
Justin Langer conceded that they have excellent leaders at the helm, with two significant competitions looming this year in the Ashes and the T20 World Cup. The Western Australian believes that they have a good future and there is no position available despite the media rumours.
“We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up – The Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good. Despite the media chatter, there is no captaincy position available,” Langer said as quoted by Times of India.
It’s certainly something I would be interested in now: Steve Smith
Earlier, Steve Smith highlighted that he would be interested in captaining Australia again if the opportunity arises. Smith stated that the current extended break has allowed him to think about it and that he would be keen if given a chance to lead Australia again. Nevertheless, the New South Wales batsman could have the opportunity of leading the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021, with regular skipper Shreyas Iyer ruled out of the competition.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of think to about it and I guess now I’ve got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again, I would be keen. If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it’s certainly something I would be interested in now, that’s for sure,” Smith told News Corp.