Sydney, Dec 7 (IANS) Australia head coach Justin Langer has stated that there are some processes to go through before prolific batsman Steve Smith could lead the national side again.
“Of course, we talked about a number of things,” Langer told Fox Sports, when asked if Smith, who has led Australia in 51 ODIs, 34 Tests and eight T20Is, was talked about in the same vein.
Smith’s 24-month leadership ban, that was imposed by Cricket Australia following the ball-tampering saga, expired in March this year.
“We’ve got so many options. Steve Smith has done a brilliant job in the past. There’s probably a bit of a process we need to go through until he becomes captain again. We’ll go through that,” said Langer.
“When the English crowd gave him a standing ovation at The Oval last year – talk about earning respect … he’s doing all the right things to show leadership without a title at the moment,” added the head coach.
The subject about Smith’s captaincy has come to forefront once again after Matthew Wade was chosen to lead the side in the second T20I of the ongoing three-match series against India which the hosts have now lost. Wade, performed well with the bat during Sunday’s game which Australia lost by six wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia are currently suffering from a host of injuries to its star players. Aaron Finch missed out the second T20I with a glute injury and is doubtful for the final game as well. David Warner picked up a groin injury and is doubtful for the first Test. Josh Hazlewood has a bad back because of which he didn’t participate in the second T20I. Ashton Agar had a calf strain and wasn’t included for Sunday’s game. Mitchell Starc opted out of the T20I series due to personal reasons. Marcus Stoinis, who was ruled out after the first ODI against India with a side strain, returned to the side, but did not bowl.
Now, Langer has been forced to consider including additional players in the second warm-up game against India starting December 11 rather than sending them over to Adelaide in preparation for the opening Test which slated to begin from December 17.
“We’re having a close look at that,” Langer said. “The best practice is centre-wicket practice and no doubt the case to play a pink ball game against India under lights is a very tempting preparation for a few of your players.
“We’ve got six injuries now, which is really unusual. We’ll obviously review it. That’s one of the challenges moving forward when guys are playing all the tours (and have) different sorts of preparations,” the head coach added.