Star Australia National Cricket Team batter Steve Smith has said that the team management is looking to build some new and younger leaders and he is “pretty chilled” about the Australia captaincy.
Premier pacer Josh Hazlewood led the Aussies in the second ODI against England in the absence of skipper Pat Cummins. Smith played an absolutely incredible 94-run knock in the match while Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa bagged 4 wickets each to help Australia win by 72 runs. The comprehensive win also helped Australia seal the three-match series with one game remaining.
Speaking after the match, Steve Smith, who was the vice-captain of the side for the second ODI, said that he is just doing the things that the team management is telling him to do.
“I’m not sure if there was a conversation. I just do what I’m told,” Steve Smith said.
“I was vice-captain for this game and helped out where I could. They’re looking to build some new leaders, some younger leaders. I’m pretty chilled, I’ll just do my thing.”
In March 2018, Steve Smith and David Warner were found to be involved in the ball-tampering scandal, famously known as the Sandpapergate scandal, and they received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia.
Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months each from international and domestic cricket. Also, both the players were stripped of all leadership entitlements with Smith receiving a two-year leadership ban and Warner receiving a lifetime leadership ban.
Smith last captained the Australian Test team during the Ashes 2021-22 series after Cummins was ruled out for one game due to some Covid-19 issues.
Meanwhile, there is a big question mark over whether Smith will be appointed as the permanent skipper of the side as many believe handing the reins to the modern-day great would be a step back for Australia.
Former bowler Stuart Clark has opined that Smith should play solely as a batter as he doesn’t have ambitions to become a full-time leader.
“If they want him to be captain, he will, and if they don’t, he won’t. He is happy to help out when he can, but he doesn’t have those ambitions to be charging in with it anymore,” said Clark.
“He has got a bit older, he’s married, and he’s probably closer to the end of his career than the start. He’s still got a long way to go as far as cricket goes, but he was captain for a long time.”
I feel like I’m in a good place – Steve Smith
Smith further said that he is in a good place at the moment and he is striking the ball very well.
“It’s my movement, my hands, the time I feel like I’ve got and just where I’m hitting the ball. I feel like I’m in a good place,” said Smith.
Clark, meanwhile, opined that Steve Smith has started to look like the dominant “2018 Ashes version of himself.”
“He held Australia together today and that’s what we know him for,” said Clark.
“He is starting to look like the 2018 Ashes version of himself again. He’s changed his technique, his feet, his hands. It just looks easy for him now.”