Former Australian captain Allan Border has joined in the discussion for Steve Smith’s possibility of returning as Australia’s captain in the near future. The debate has become one of the hottest topics in recent times, especially since the second T20I against India when Steve Smith did not captain in the absence of Aaron Finch. But Allan Border thinks that Australia does not have too many obvious candidates when Test skipper Tim Paine moves on.
Steve Smith had to stay out of professional cricket for a year after David Warner and Cameron Bancroft got themselves involved in the ball-tampering scandal under his captaincy on the Test tour of South Africa in 2018. The 31-year old, who returned in June to Australia’s set-up, has been amongst the runs and backed by many to become the captain once again. On the other hand, Tim Paine already being 36, has further ignited the debate.
Allan Border admits that his outlook has changed on Steve Smith’s captaincy than what it was initially. Border, who captained Australia to the first of its five World Cup victories, initially felt that no one wants to revisit all the stuff that has already been in the past which they might have to if Smith became captain. On the contrary, people look at how the right-handed batsman plays and the number of runs off his bat.
“Yes, that will be a discussion for sure. I must admit I have softened a little bit in my stance on Steve Smith and future captaincy. Initially I thought…do you want to revisit all that stuff being rehashed? If Steve Smith is made captain of Australia, you have to go through sandpaper gate and all that discussion by the media – should he, shouldn’t he be captain again? Do you need that? You just look at Steve Smith play and the amount of runs that he scores,” Border told Sportskeeda.
I think he probably got harshly treated: Allan Border
The 66-year old acknowledged that after thinking about Steve Smith in recent times, he felt he got treated quite harshly. Allan Border pointed out that Smith served the punishment dished out to him and Australia does not have many reliable options when Tim Paine calls it a day.
“But having thought about little bit in recent times, I think he probably got harshly treated. I mean he probably should have jumped on things a bit earlier as captain or he was trying to turn a blind eye. But I think he’s served his time. And when I look around Australian cricket, we haven’t got too many obvious replacements when Tim Paine moves on and Australia’s thinking about another captain,” he added.