Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh feels that Steve Smith– the current No.1 ranked Test batsman in the world- has served enough punishment for his misdemeanors and that he should be handed over the reins of the Australian Test team once the incumbent Tim Paine retires.
Smith, who captained Australia in 34 Tests, 51 ODIs, and 8 T20Is between 2015-2018, was stripped of the leadership role in an embarrassing manner due to his involvement in the 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. Not only was Steve Smith stripped of the role and handed a 12-month ban from playing elite cricket, but he was also banned for a period of 24 months from the leadership role.
The ban ended earlier this year and since then there have been a lot of discussions in the Australian cricket circle as to whether Steve Smith should be handed over the role again or not. The discussions intensified when Matthew Wade was made the captain of the T20I team in the absence of Aaron Finch despite Smith being a part of the squad. Head coach Justin Langer had then said that Steve Smith is still in contention of becoming Australian captain but for that to happen, a due process needs to be followed.
“I would have made Steve Smith captain. He is one of the best players in the team, so he is always going to be picked in the team. Plus he has captained Australia for a number of years. He’s got a great cricket brain and I think he is a leader, so why not?” Mark Waugh told Fox Cricket.
“I know a lot of people say why should he captain again? But hang on the crime has been paid for as minor as I thought it was,” he said. ”He’s paid his penance there, so he gets back to captain. I think he is a pretty good captain.”
However, Mark Waugh’s former teammate and legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne feels that Australia must look at someone else as captain. He said that Steve Smith has had his opportunity to lead the Australian team and he should now focus on making truckloads of runs for his country.
“I wouldn’t (make him captain), I think Steve Smith has had his time. I would go with someone else as captain. Steve Smith we want to bat and bat,” Warne said.
“I think we just let him bat and play. His time has been. It has got nothing to do with the issues in South Africa for me. I just think it is time for someone else.” he added.