Can Australia reinstate Steve Smith as Test captain again?
Tim Paine, who captained Australia in retaining the Ashes after winning the fourth Test of the 2019 series, stepped down from captaincy following the infamous ‘sexting scandal’ with a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania. The news came in as a major shock as Australia are gearing up to host England for the 72nd Ashes series which gets underway on December 8. With the start of the series being just 2 weeks away, the Kangaroos are looking for a new captain to start the post-Tim Paine era in Tests.
One name Australia would surely be thinking is their former captain and the ever-consistent batter, Steve Smith. He has previously led the Australian team in the longest format of the game in 34 Tests, winning 18 of them and losing 10. 8 matches were drawn during his tenure. Considering Steve as a captain won’t be a bad choice for the Australian selectors as Smith has the second-best batting average (70.36) after Don Bradman (101.51) as captain in Tests.
Steve Smith as captain in Tests:
Steve Smith’s batting record as Test captain:
Speaking of his record as a batter while captaining the side in Tests, he is equaled with Allan Border and Steve Waugh for hitting 15 centuries only behind Ricky Ponting’s 19 tons in the format. In just 34 matches as a skipper, Smith has accumulated 3659 runs and is sixth in the list of all-time run-scorers as a leader for the side from Down under. Steve Smith is fourth in the list for scoring most 50+ scores (28) in Tests only behind some Australian greats like Ricky Ponting (54), Allan Border (51), and Greg Chappell (32).
Steve Smith has an impressive track record when leading the team in Tests at home. He has achieved victories in 13 matches, drawing 5 and losing just on 2 occasions out of 20. With Australia hosting the upcoming Ashes series, Steve smith, if given the captaincy role, would like to improve his home record more and take his side to third back-to-back Ashes series victory on home soil.
For the unversed, Smith was sacked as Australian captain following the infamous sandpapergate scandal in 2018. While he became eligible to lead the Aussies in March 2020, the selectors decided to continue with Paine. However, with the wicketkeeper stepping down, Smith has a good chance to lead the Aussies again. Notably, Smith has to pip his teammate Pat Cummins, who’s also in the fray.
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