Steven Smith’s impressive international cricket return after completing his suspension period has opened up his returning chapter of international captaincy. However, the Cricket Australia (CA) is likely not thinking about Smith’s captaincy return at present as Tim Paine’s captaincy has impressed them.
Due to the involvement in the sandpaper gate incident in March 2018 during the Cape Town Test, then Australian captain Smith faced a one-year suspension from the CA along with the vice-captain David Warner while Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban from the CA.
Moreover, the CA handed Smith and Bancroft further one-more year captaincy ban while Warner faced a life-time captaincy ban.
So, Smith still has to wait till the next March to start his fight for the international captaincy return officially.
Since his return after completing his suspension period, Steven Smith has continuously improved his cricket quality. Smith also impressively led the Rajasthan Royals (RR) side from the middle of IPL 2019.
In the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Smith returned to the international cricket and scored 379 runs in 10 innings with an average of 37.90. The right-handed batsman hit four half-centuries in that tournament.
On his Test return after 16 months, Smith hit two centuries in the first game of Ashes 2019 at Edgbaston. In the first innings of that game, Australia were struggling on 122/8, but Smith batted remarkably well and scored 144 runs. His knock helped Australia to manage 284 runs.
Later, he scored another powerful 142 runs in their second innings. His batting performances were the major reason for Australia’s 251 runs victory in that Edgbaston Test, despite England had the 90 runs lead after their first innings.
It’s not even on our radar – CA Chairman on Steven Smith’s international captaincy return
After those unforgettable performances, many believe that Smith’s international captaincy return is just a matter of time. However, the CA Chairman Earl Eddings hasn’t the same view. He has recently claimed that they are happy with the present Test captain Tim Paine’s performances. They haven’t even thought about changing the present Australian captaincy.
Eddings claimed, “It’s not even on our radar. We’ve got a captain doing a great job. Steve has just come back into the side. We haven’t even thought about it or mentioned it at board meetings. We’re just glad that [Smith, Warner and Bancroft] are back. That’s been a focus, getting the boys back into the team. And getting them playing the right way, which they are. So that’s not our focus.”
However, the CA chief executive Kevin Roberts has a different view than Eddings. Roberts has recently claimed that Steven Smith is now a better person due to his recent hard experiences. He feels that Smith can be a better captain in future.
Since Tim Paine has taken the leadership charge of the Australian Test side after the controversial sandpaper gate incident, the team has slowly grown up despite facing much crisis. While he has led in 10 Tests, Australia have won four times, lost four times and drawn twice.
Paine also led in five ODIs during Australia’s tour of England last summer, but Australia lost all those matches. Later, Aaron Finch took over the limited-overs captaincy of this side. Since then, the limited-overs Australian teams are also growing up very well.