Steve Smith’s ban on leading Australia will end in March, but Coach Justin Langer says that he doesn’t want to make a comeback to the Test captaincy. Smith led the team until his suspension for 12 months for the ball-tampering controversy with sandpaper in Cape Town last year.
As a punishment, he was taken out of the leadership role. Calls have grown for Smith to take over Tim Paine when the ban is lifted since his incredible batting performances helped Australia retain the Ashes against England.
While Langer said it was not a simple decision, admitting Smith’s exploits, in just seven innings with 774 runs.
“I’ve built a good relationship with Steve over the last 18 months, and it (the captaincy) is going to come down to honest conversations,” – Coach Justin Langer said.
“You can see how exhausted he was from the effort he put into his batting (during the Ashes), and whether he wants the burden of captaincy as well is something we’ll have to work out over time. I’ll be one of the selectors, and I think we’ll just work out what’s best.” – Justin Langer added.
Paine will certainly retain the role for the home summer Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand, despite criticism of his batting and captaincy during Ashes.
Langer said he was “doing a brilliant job at the moment”. “He’s been outstanding in his time as captain. However long he wants to keep playing for is another thing,” – he added.
Unlike Smith, former vice-captain David Warner’s return was miserable from the “sandpaper gate” scandal, as he struggled to make double figures against England.
But Langer said he still had confidence in the explosive opener, who returned to form with a century for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield last week.
“He had a poor series against England, no doubt. That’s just a fact, and he knows that” – Langer said.
“But he also hasn’t lost his talent, because he was the highest run-scorer in the World Cup two weeks before the Ashes started, and he was the highest run-scorer in the IPL (Indian Premier League) before that. So he can bat.”
“The other thing about David Warner, my experience tells me that you never write off champion players. And he’s a champion player.” – Langer added.