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“I want him to lead strongly, become that statesman of the game” - Steve Smith gets Ian Healy's backing for Test captaincy

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
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Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy feels that senior batsman Steve Smith should be handed over the Test captaincy of the team once again.

Steve Smith was stripped of his captaincy and suspended for a year for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 that rocked Australian cricket.

As per Healy, Steve Smith has suffered enough in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal. In this regard, Healy told 'SEN Radio', according a to PTI report:

"In 12 to 18 months from now, I want him to do it, only if he wants to, because it's a chance for redemption. I want him to lead strongly, become that statesman of the game and put those doubters and haters to bed. I like redemption. He paid a heavy price for not doing much.”

Tim Paine has led Australia in Tests ever since the ban was imposed on Steve Smith, with mixed results. However, at 36, Paine doesn’t seem to have too much time left in his Test career. According to Healy, the time is right for Steve Smith to be given another chance now.

"Everyone around the world thinks he scratched the ball. All he was, was a bit of a lazy captain and let things run in his team that he wasn't aware of,” observed Healy.

Although pacer Pat Cummins has been appointed Australia's vice-captain in Tests, Healy feels it would be better if the fast bowler is given a taste of leadership in the shorter formats first. He said in this regard:

"I think we should try Pat Cummins in short-form games. Give him a taste and get his feedback on how he might cope; that would be a good way to start."

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Could Steve Smith become Australia's next Test captain?

Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were forced to resign from their anointed roles in the aftermath of the sandpaper scandal in the 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa in March that year..

Although Steve Smith has returned to international cricket after serving a 12-month ban, there have been mixed reactions about him being given the Test captaincy again.

Some say Steve Smith doesn’t deserve to be given the honour again, while others like Healy opine the former captain deserves another shot at leadership.

Steve Smith recently found himself at the centre of another controversy after he was seen scuffing up the batting crease during the SCG Test. The player, however, defended his actions, stating he was only ‘visualising’ how he would play.

Interestingly, Rohit Sharma apparently mocked Steve Smith by shadow-batting on the pitch on Day 4 at the Gabba. Steve Smith was at the crease when the incident occurred.

Published 18 Jan 2021, 22:32 IST
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