Melbourne, Oct 29 (IANS) Former Australian allrounder Simon O’Donnell believes batting stalwart Steve Smith is capable of leading the T20 side and feels if Aaron Finch were to lose his captaincy, the former skipper can step in and do a decent job.
Finch entered the ICC T20 World Cup at home struggling with form and his poor run has continued in the showpiece tournament as well, with the 35-year-old scoring 13 off 11 balls and 31 off 42 in the two matches Australia have played. The third game, against England, was abandoned.
O’Donnell, who played six Tests and 87 ODIs, said Australia need someone like Smith to guide them.
“You’ve got a pretty good one sitting there in Steve Smith,” O’Donnell said on SENQ’s Pat and Heals. “I think we need him, I call it a ‘whacking order’, we’re all whackers the order at the minute. It’s like the Kiwis, they have their skipper that just comes in and (Kane) Williamson can be the steadier.
“Sometimes it is good to get twos and threes and not having to hit fours and sixes all of the time. I think our side is better with Smith in it, I’m one of the few that gives that vote because he doesn’t even look like getting a game at the minute,” added O’Donnell.
Smith is in the 15-member Australia squad for the T20 World Cup. Things turned topsy-turvy for him following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town against South Africa, following which he along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft was banned from international cricket for a duration not exceeding a year.
Australia’s remaining Super 12 group games are against Ireland on Monday at The Gabba and Afghanistan next Friday at the Adelaide Oval and O’Donnell believes Finch doesn’t deserves to hold his spot in Australia’s World Cup XI. Cricket experts believe Finch is in the side only due to his captaincy.
“Very few times you feel a little bit sorry for someone on an elite sporting field, but I felt a little bit sorry for him (Finch) the other day,” O’Donnell said. “He’s just way out of whack… he was just trying to face some cricket balls the other night, he got 18.2 overs out there, whether that helps him turn it around and give him that feel, I’m not sure.
“In this form of the game when it’s so helter-skelter, it’s going to be hard for him. It’s not that he’s not trying, he’s just a millisecond out with picking up his line and length which is all you need with your timing and everything to be out the window.”