Mark Waugh, former Australian batsman and brother of former captain Steve Waugh believes Steve Smith has repented enough for his alleged role in the ball-tampering scandal and needs to be handed Australia’s Test captaincy after the retirement of incumbent Tim Paine.
Steve Smith was sacked as captain due to his involvement in the scandal in 2018 and it has become a hot debate whether to reinstate him as Tim Paine has reached 36 years of age and isn’t in form.
Mark Waugh Would Have Made Steve Smith Skipper As He Is One Of Best Team Player Besides Having Captaincy Experience
However, ahead of the four-Test match series against India, there has been much discussions and debates on whether it was time to reinstate Steve Smith as captain after Matthew Wade was made the stand-in skipper in the second T20I in the absence of an injured Aaron Finch, the limited-overs skipper.
“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,” Waugh said on Fox Sports’ Heavy Roller Podcast.
“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?”
Steve Smith had captained Australia in 34 Tests, 51 ODIs and 8 T20Is between 2015 and 2018 before being banned for a year and stripped of the captaincy for the sandpaper scandal that happened in Cape Town two years ago.
“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,” Waugh said.
“He’s paid his penance there, so he gets back to captain. I think he is a pretty good captain.”
Tim Paine has captained Australia in 19 tests and Australia have won 10 while losing 6 and drawing 3. He though has to perform with the bat in future tests as he averages a modest 31.66 and is yet to score a ton even after 31 test appearances. Steve Smith on the other hand averages above 60 and is among top 3 in batting averages in tests. Mark Waugh believes that he has suffered enough for ball tempering ban and should be made skipper.
Shane Warne Wouldn’t Make Him Captain As He Wants To See Him Bat And Score Runs Without Being Burdened With Captaincy
However, spin legend Shane Warne believes Steve Smith’s time as captain is up and he should just focus on amassing runs for the 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.”
Recently, former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist had also backed Steve Smith, saying there is no reason why he should not be allowed to be the captain again.
Allan Border, former Australian skipper also reckons that if the visitors India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by winning 4 test series, Australia’s test skipper Tim Paine’s position could come under scrutiny and Steve Smith could return to the captaincy fold.
Mark Waugh is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricketer, who represented Australia in Tests from early 1991 to late 2002. Mark Waugh made his One Day International debut in 1988. Mark Waugh was previously a national selector, holding that position until August 2018.