Jason Gillespie, former Australian pacer was asked the question whether Steve Smith should be back as captain of Australia in a recent interview and he said that he would not be upset if the batsman returns as Australian captain as he has already paid for his crime.
The ball-tampering incident of 2018 had left the cricketing world shocked because there were some big names attached to the incident which drew widespread criticism.
Steve Smith, David Warner And Cameron Bancroft Banned For 1 Year After Involvement In Ball-Tempering Offence
Both Steve Smith and David Warner who were the captain and vice-captain of the team back in 2018, respectively, at the time, were banned for 12 months and the latter was also given a lifetime ban on ever being given a leadership role in Australia cricket.
In March 2018, during the 3rd Test match against South Africa at Cape Town, Cameron Bancroft was caught by cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing in flight, and later the names of David Warner and Steve Smith were associated with the incident and were subsequently banned for a year, and they returned in 2019 World Cup in ODIs and 2019 Ashes Series in August in Tests.
The door to return as Australia captain, though, was left open for Steve Smith, and now that the two players have returned and settled back into the teams, questions are being raised if Steve Smith should replace Tim Paine as Australia Test captain.
Jason Gillespie Softened Stance About Steve Smith Captaining Australia Again
Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie was asked about Steve Smith’s comeback as skipper, and he said that he wouldn’t be upset if Steve Smith returns as Australia captain as he has already paid for his crime by serving a year-long ban. Jason Gillespie had softened his stance after Steve Smith paid the biggest price after committing the crime of ball tempering in the history of the game.
“When the whole ball-tampering incident happened in Cape Town, I didn’t think Steve Smith would captain Australia again. That said, I have softened my stance on that upon reflection,” Jason Gillespie told Sportstar.
“These guys have paid a bigger price than anyone else in the history of the game had to pay for an offence like that. It’s almost like you do the crime, you do the time, and wipe the slate clean. Steve Smith is a natural leader, and if he is appointed Test captain after Tim Paine, I wouldn’t be upset about that,” he added.
“There are other options available, like Pat Cummins. Could a fast bowler do that role (of captaincy)? It’s traditionally not the done thing… If fast bowlers are given captaincy roles, they tend to either over-bowl or under-bowl themselves,” he further said.
“I feel we should leave the bowlers be the bowlers… I think a batsman or a ’keeper should take the captaincy reins. That said, I am not ruling out the possibility of Cummins taking over the role. Travis Head is another option; he has been captaining South Australia since the age of 20 – he is a vastly experienced leader,” Gillespie signed off.
He reckons that Steve Smith is a natural-born leader having led in 34 Tests out of which Australia won 18. Tim Paine captained in 19 Tests, and Australia have won 10. In ODIs, Steve Smith-led Australia in 51 matches and Australia have won 25. But Aaron Finch is also doing well leading Australia in 38 matches out of which team won 21.
Jason Gillespie though reckons other options like Travis Head and Pat Cummins are available too as both of them were vice-captains. According to Jason Gillespie, a batsman or wicket-keeper should take over the captaincy in future ruling out the possibility of pacer Pat Cummins.