Allan Border, former Australian skipper reckons if the visitors India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia’s test skipper Tim Paine’s position could come under scrutiny and Steve Smith could return to the captaincy fold.
Australia are being considered favourites to win the 4 test series but India are also a strong team as felt by the former Australian captain.
Allan Border : Steve Smith Probably Got Harshly Treated
A second successive home Test series defeat after the 2-1 loss in 2018-19 at the hands of India could bring Steve Smith back in contention for the illustrious post, 1987 World Cup-winning captain Allan Border voiced his opinion during an online media interaction from Sydney.
“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?” Border said while answering a question by Sportskeeda.
“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,” he continued.
Steve Smith was banned and subsequently couldn’t play for a year and completed a two-year ban on captaincy roles in March this year. Allan Border, though, felt it was too harsh for Steve Smith still to be criticized by experts for something he has already apologized and served the punishment.
“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,” Border said.
“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,” Border stated.
Steve Smith was stripped of the captaincy following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in a Test against the Proteas at Cape Town, while Tim Paine was elevated as captain.
The wicketkeeper-batsman had a shaky start to his tenure, but he has brilliantly captained the side after losses to Pakistan and India to see Australia currently sitting atop the ICC Test rankings as under him Australia won 10 out of 19 tests.
Allan Border: Pat Cummins Can Be Captain But It’s Hard To Be Captain For A Pacer
Matthew Wade replaced the injured Aaron Finch as skipper in the second T20I against India on December 6, as there were talks of Steve Smith filling in for the limited-overs skipper. Experts though were in favour of fast bowler Pat Cummins, who was rested for the series, as captain of Australia.
Allan Border acknowledged the fact that the 27-year-old pacer could play captaincy role to perfection, but said it would be hard for a pacer to captain the side besides taking care of his fitness.
“Patrick Cummins could do the job. He’s a fantastic young fellow, good head on his shoulders. But being a fast bowler, being your spearhead bowler, I just reckon that’s really hard to be captain as well,” Border, who scored 17,698 runs from 156 Tests and 273 ODIs, said.
Allan Border feels the 1-year ban has got ex-skipper Steve Smith to look at things differently as he has matured after being dealt a hard lesson while there are a few captaincy candidates within the Australian setup like Matthew Wade or Pat Cummins.
“I just reckon Steve Smith would be a good choice. He’s learnt a hard lesson, and I think he would be a better captain as a result…Yes, he could probably do the job again for Australia,” Border concluded.
The four-match Test series between India and Australia begins with a pink-ball game at the Adelaide Oval starting on Thursday (December 17) where regular Indian skipper Virat Kohli will play but as he will head home after it is concluded thereby missing last 3 tests.