Monday, 23 September 2019

Mark Taylor backed Steve Smith to captain Australia

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

SYDNEY: Former skipper Mark Taylor backed Steve Smith to captain Australia again after his incredible Ashes exploits, as support mounts for the 30-year-old to be given a second chance.

Smith was banned for 12 months over a brazen attempt to alter the ball with sandpaper under his captaincy in a Cape Town Test, and slapped with a further year’s suspension from any leadership role which runs out at the end of March next year.

While wicketkeeper Tim Paine assumed the job in Tests and won praise for the way he helped the side retain the Ashes at Old Trafford last weekend, he will be 35 in December.

Usman Khawaja and Travis Head have been touted as potential future leaders, but neither have performed in England while Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are bowlers, who rarely become captains.

Taylor, who helped determine Smith’s ball-tampering penalty, along with the bans handed to David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, said he was the natural choice to take over.

“I believe Smith will captain Australia again,” he said in a column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I was on the Cricket Australia board that determined the penalties for Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft over the events of Cape Town and have no doubt he will be a better leader next time around because of the very harsh lessons he learnt.”

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