No Captaincy Position Available, Says Justin Langer After Steve Smith Says Keen To Lead Australia Again
Just hours after Steve Smith said that he will take up the captaincy role if he gets another crack at it, Australia coach Justin Langer responded to his statement by saying Australian cricket is in safe hands with Tim Paine as Test captain and Aaron Finch as white-ball captain.
“We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up — an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good,” Langer told the ABC, according to Fox Sports.
“Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available,” he added.
On Monday, the former Australia skipper for the first time since his removal as the captain came out to show his desire to lead the country’s national cricket team again if given a chance.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I’ve got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again, I would be keen,” Smith told News Corp.”If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it’s certainly something I would be interested in now, that’s for sure.”
The stylish right-handed batsman was stripped off the captaincy in March 2018, for his involvement in the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ against South Africa in Cape Town.
The scandal centred around Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who was caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper, and it plunged Australian cricket into crisis. Paine has since led Australia’s test side with distinction, but with the wicketkeeper-batsman turning 37 by the time he captains the hosts in the Ashes series against England at the end of 2021, a clear succession plan would be required.
Few players have better credentials to succeed Paine than the 31-year-old Smith but it has been fast bowler Pat Cummins who has been nurtured in the past as Australia’s vice-captain.”I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there,” Smith said. “I’ve been through all that now.
“Time keeps moving forward, and I’ve learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being. I feel as though I’d be in a better place if the opportunity did come up.”If it doesn’t, that’s fine as well and I’d support whoever is in charge the same way I’ve supported Tim and Finchy. I haven’t always felt like I wanted to do it again. That’s only come in the last little bit.”
The chatter on Australia’s captaincy picked up pace after the side’s 1-2 Test series defeat to India at home. Skipper Tim Paine’s leadership came under heavy scrutiny as there have been calls to replace the Test skipper.