|| Desk Report ||
Former skipper Mark Taylor Thursday 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.
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.
To me it’s not a matter of whether he (Smith) becomes captain again on April 1. It doesn’t have to happen that quickly,” he said.
“But I’d like to think when Paine is finished as Test captain -- whether that’s in six months’ time or two or three years -- he would be a candidate to lead the side again.”
Another ex-captain, Ian Chappell, has also backed Smith to again assume the role.
“I think the problem for Australia will be there’s no one else I can see to captain that side,” he said recently.