With Steve Smith impressing in the Ashes, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has backed his former teammate to captain the national team again. Steve Smith starred with the bat, scoring 774 runs in just seven innings at an average of more than 100 as he helped Australia retain the Ashes for the first time since 2001 on English soil.
The series marked the return of Steve Smith in Test after more than a year. The former Australia skipper was banned for a year for the ball-tampering scandal in March last year. Smith was also debarred from consideration for any team leadership role for an additional 12 months.
Ponting now thinks it is only a matter of time before Smith is considered for captaincy again. At the same time, Ponting said he is unsure of how the fans will react to Smith becoming the captain again.
“Steve Smith – I think he will captain again. I don’t know what the Australian public might think about that,” Ponting said at an event at Australia House in London.
“So to me that seems like Cricket Australia has left the gate open … so if Cricket Australia thinks it’s OK then I’m happy with [it,]” Ponting added.
The former Aussie skipper said Smith knows his role in the team even without the captain’s armband. The legendary skipper also said that it won’t be too long until Smith is back being the captain of the team once the ban is lifted.
“I think he knows his role now. But once that ban is lifted, I don’t think it will be too long until he’s captain again,” Ponting said.
Smith’s cause could be helped by the way current captain Tim Paine is performing with the bat. Since October 2018, Paine has managed to score just two half-centuries in Test cricket. In the Ashes, he was criticised for his poor use of DRS.