Australian cricket greats Mark Waugh and Shane Warne are divided on whether Steve Smith should regain the captaincy.
With Smith’s two-year leadership ban over following the sandpaper gate, calls for the star batsman to once again take on the captaincy duties have not only intensified but have gotten even louder after Matthew Wade was handed the captaincy for the second T20I against India in Aaron Finch’s absence.
Waugh said if he was in charge of the squad, the easy decision would’ve been to pick Smith over Wade for the match.
“I would have made Steve Smith captain (for the T20I with India),” Waugh told Fox Sports’ Heavy Roller Podcast.
“He is one of the best players in the team, so he is always going to be picked in the team.
“Plus he has captained Australia for a number of years. He’s got a great cricket brain and I think he is a leader, so why not?”
With current Test skipper Tim Paine expected to lead the team until at least the end of the ICC World Test Championship in June 2021, who takes over from the 36-year-old is anyone’s guess.
Waugh said Smith, who will turn 32 next year, should be the one to take over from Paine given his experience.
“I think so. I know a lot of people say why should he captain again? But hang on the crime has been paid for as minor as I thought it was,” Waugh added.
“He’s paid his penance there, so he gets back to captain. I think he is a pretty good captain.”
However, Warne said despite his decision having nothing to do with the sandpaper scandal in South Africa, he believes Smith would be better to simply continue his form with the bat and focus on his individual performance.
“I wouldn’t (pick Smith), I think Steve Smith has had his time,” Warne said.
“I wouldn’t go Steve Smith. I would go someone else as captain. Steve Smith we want to bat and bat.
“I think we just let him bat and play. His time has been. It has got nothing to do with the issues in South Africa for me. I just think it is time for someone else.”
When asked who he thought would be a suitable captain in the future, Warne pinpointed Marnus Labuschagne.
“I just think there is always someone. Marnus Labuschagne,” he said.
“He loves the game. I think he is a good tactician. I think he understands the game. Marnus Labuschagne could do it.
“There is always someone.”