Since Steve Smith’s return after the one-year ban over 2018’s ball-tampering incident in South Africa, the Aussie batsman has been back at his best and interests from several quarters have been shown to retain him as Australia’s captain again.
At the moment, Tim Paine is leading the Australian Test team and Aaron Finch is in charge in the limited format. However, with Paine already being 36, the search for new leader in the longest format need to begin soon, reckoned few Aussie cricket expert.
Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist echoed a similar sentiment and urged Cricket Australia to make it clear if they ever want 31-year-old Smith back in captaincy role or not by immediately promoting him as the vice-captain. Currently, Pat Cummins is the vice-captain of the team.
“I see no reason why someone shouldn’t have a second chance and if part of that is the captaincy for Steve Smith if he’s the right guy and the most obvious candidate, I can’t see a reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to do it,” Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket.
“If Cricket Australia and the selectors feel that way, and Steve Smith is keen to do it, I think they should make him vice-captain immediately.”
The 49-year-old wicket-keeping legend felt that making him vice-captain in all the formats will keep Smith, who has led Australia in 34 Tests, 51 ODIs and 8 T20Is with a success rate over 50%, will be ready to assume duties as captain again once Paine and Finch end their tenure as skippers.
“And whenever those opportunities come up – when Painey finishes, when Finchy finishes – he just assumes it like any normal, natural progression,” said Gilchrist.
He further stressed that if CA takes the call to promote Smith now, it will end all the speculations that has been made now about Smith returning as the skipper or not.
“It takes out all the speculation and allows Steve to know, everyone, to know, what the journey is going to be. It allows the natural progression to happen without the speculation.
“By doing that it means that when the captaincy changes there’s not all this hype and uncertainty around it and focus being taken away from the cricket. It just means everyone is clear that’s going to happen,” said Gilchrist, who retired in 2008 after playing 96 Tests for the Baggy Greens.