Former England spinner Monty Panesar has said that Steve Smith may have similar stature as that of Ricky Ponting but he does not deserve to be associated with cricketing greats. While speaking to TimesofIndia.com, Panesar said that comparing the duo will be tarnishing Ponting’s image.
“This will always be at the back of the mind of every cricket fan. Smith has similar stature as Ricky Ponting. Does he deserve that? I would say no. Because Ponting captained the team, scored many match-winning knocks and guided Australia to World Cup (title), but he didn’t do the Sandpaper incident. If we will compare Smith with him, we would be tarnishing Ponting’s image. I don’t think his (Smith) name should be associated with any cricketing great,” he told TimesofIndia.com.
Smith, who is in the dream run at the moment in Ashes 2019, was one of the three players involved in the ball-tampering saga that took place in Newlands against South Africa in March 2018.
Cameron Bancroft tampered with the ball with sandpaper. He was caught on the camera while doing so. Smith and Bancroft confessed tampering with the ball after the day’s play. Cricket Australia took stern action and banned the three players.
Captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were banned for a year each while Bancroft was sanctioned for nine months. Along with that, Smith was also banned from captaincy for two years. Warner was banned from the position for life.
The trio returned to the Test cricket in Ashes 2019. Bancroft was dropped from the Test after failure in the first two Tests. Warner, despite 79 runs in the first four Tests, will be playing the fifth Test that starts tomorrow.
Steve Smith has been in top form in the series so far with 671 runs at an average of 134.20 and is leading the chats. He has scored 3 centuries (that includes a double-century) and two half-centuries.
Smith hadn’t played the first-class fixture before the opening Ashes Test. He marked his comeback to Test cricket with two centuries and has continued his dream run in the series so far.