Steve Smith had an Ashes series to remember for generations as he averaged a Bradmanesque 110 and made 774 runs in the seven innings of the four Tests he played. Australia retained the Ashes urn, but England, captained by Joe Root, managed to draw the 5-match Test series 2-2 by winning the fifth and final Test at the Kennington Oval in London.
One can only imagine what Steve Smith might have done had he not missed the second innings of Lord’s Test and the whole third Test due to concussion thanks to the bounder from Jofra Archer. However, he did help skipper Tim Paine achieve something that came after 18 years, as Steve Waugh was the last Aussie skipper to retain the Ashes urn in England, way back in 2001.
Ponting believes Smith will captain the Australian team once more
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, under whom Steve Smith made his Test debut in 2010, said that he is sure that Smith will become the Australian captain once more after his captaincy ban ends in 2020. Smith was involved in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2019 and was banned from international cricket till March 2019. He received an additional one year ban from becoming captain of Australia in any format.
“Steve Smith – I think he will captain again. I don’t know what the Australian public might think about that. So, to me that seems like Cricket Australia has left the gate open … so if Cricket Australia thinks it’s OK then I’m happy with [it]. I think he knows his role now. But once that ban is lifted, I don’t think it will be too long until he’s captain again,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Times Now.
Tim Paine’s captaincy came for criticism after his poor DRS usage, something that cost them the Headingley Test match. Paine has also struggled to get runs with the bat since becoming skipper of the Kangaroos but has continued to lead the team because of the way he waded them through the tough period in 2019. Since October 2018, Paine has managed to score just two half-centuries in Test cricket and such things may play a role if he is to be removed from captaincy in future.
Smith, along with Bancroft and Warner were banned for one year each due to the ball-tampering scandal. While Smith may become the Australian captain after one more year, David Warner will never hold any leadership position for Australia in international cricket ever.
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