Steve Smith as Captain

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JackOutback

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I don't think Smith was a good captain but I do think he was unfairly thrown under the bus.

I'd happily bet money that the whole ball tampering thing was a team plan that Darren Lehmann was in on. Lehmann's whole playing dumb act juts doesn't add up with the way in which he went about speaking with Handscomb on the walkie talkie.

I'm certain Smith's punishment was specifically about his address to the media which was incredibly stupid and out of touch, putting the entire Australian Cricket Brand in jeopardy. Had he just gone out and said something similar to Faf in years gone by it would have been a non event after the series was over.

You'd have to be a complete moron to think Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc weren't in on it.
At the same time, some people naively believe his story that he didn’t have a clue what Warner and Bancroft were up to and his sin was simply ignoring something suspicious. He was up to his neck in it, so was Lehmann; he’s gone and Smith shouldn’t captain again.
 

DaRick

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At the same time, some people naively believe his story that he didn’t have a clue what Warner and Bancroft were up to and his sin was simply ignoring something suspicious. He was up to his neck in it, so was Lehmann; he’s gone and Smith shouldn’t captain again.
From memory, what happened was that they brought him in the loop, after which he shook his head at their stupidity, threw his arms up, and walked away.

Still should've received a life ban from the captaincy because that whole episode symbolised his lack of gravitas, at a time when it was most obviously needed.
 

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JackOutback

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From memory, what happened was that they brought him in the loop, after which he shook his head at their stupidity, threw his arms up, and walked away.

Still should've received a life ban from the captaincy because that whole episode symbolised his lack of gravitas, at a time when it was most obviously needed.
His story was, he saw them plotting, he asked them what they were up to, then said never mind, better he not know. I don’t believe that or the version you presented. Pretty much the whole team had to know.
 

JackOutback

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The whole thing was so harebrained I don’t see why it’s not believable that only the select few knew about it.

It was pretty blatant so hardly the work of an intricate network of criminal masterminds.
The sandpaper might be new, but the ball tampering had been going on for ages (in all teams). no way the captain and bowlers didn't know.
 

DaRick

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His story was, he saw them plotting, he asked them what they were up to, then said never mind, better he not know. I don’t believe that or the version you presented. Pretty much the whole team had to know.
So what do you believe?

There's no evidence that he directly colluded in the plot - his failure was letting it go on.

As for the team's knowledge, there was likely to be some widespread knowledge that something was up, but plausible deniability would make it hard to implicate anyone besides Warner, Bancroft and Smith.
 

Gethelred

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His story was, he saw them plotting, he asked them what they were up to, then said never mind, better he not know. I don’t believe that or the version you presented. Pretty much the whole team had to know.
This. I don't believe for a minute that the bowlers didn't know.
 

JackOutback

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So what do you believe?

There's no evidence that he directly colluded in the plot - his failure was letting it go on.

As for the team's knowledge, there was likely to be some widespread knowledge that something was up, but plausible deniability would make it hard to implicate anyone besides Warner, Bancroft and Smith.
I believe ball tampering had been going on for years, across all nations, and it was a team tactic.

But as long as no one contradicts Smith, then yes, he has plausible deniability.
 

eltrain

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Wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time it comes out in a tell-all interview that the bowlers were in on it. No proof of it though until that happens.
 

DaRick

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I believe ball tampering had been going on for years, across all nations, and it was a team tactic.

But as long as no one contradicts Smith, then yes, he has plausible deniability.
Oh yeah, that I can certainly believe.

I was more referring to this specific incident, which would have one of the more brazen and, um, unorthodox, forms of ball tampering ever devised.
 

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holybishop

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Steve Smith has declared for the first time that he would happily return as Australian Test captain if selectors want him.

While pledging his full support to national skippers Tim Paine and Aaron Finch and stressing he would have no problems if Cricket Australia ultimately look elsewhere for a successor, Smith says after three years of intense speculation, his feelings on captaincy have solidified to the point where he would be ready to lead again if called upon.

Smith admits he hasn’t always felt like he’d want to step back into the hot seat again following the trauma of the Cape Town ball tampering scandal, but the 31-year-old now believes he would be a better leader than he was before and would relish the responsibility of captaining his country if asked.

“I’ve certainly had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I’ve got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again I would be keen,” Smith told News Corp.

“If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it’s certainly something I would be interested in now, that’s for sure.

“I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there.

“I’ve been through all that now. Time keeps moving forward, and I’ve learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being.

“I feel as though I’d be in a better place if the opportunity did come up. If it doesn’t, that’s fine as well and I’d support whoever is in charge the same way I’ve supported Tim and Finchy.”

Paine will lead Australia to this summer’s home Ashes, and Finch will hold the reins for October’s Twenty20 World Cup, but it’s clear a succession plan will soon need to be enacted.

Australia’s National Selector Trevor Hohns has already stated that his panel must start giving serious consideration to who its next captains will be.

Pat Cummins and Smith are the two obvious options but the process is complicated by the fact there are question marks that need to be answered with both men.

Cummins is a fast bowler and Smith has his prior history in the role, although Cricket Australia is yet to give any indication about whether they’d object to him leading his country again.

Smith on Monday launched the Steve Smith Cricket Academy with its own YouTube channel, a venture aimed at inspiring the next generation of Australian cricketers which has helped remind him how much he loves leading.

As well as his extensive work with Gus Worland’s Gotcha 4 Life mental health charity, Smith says if he gets another chance to captain Australia again, it will be as a more well-rounded leader.

“I haven’t always felt like I wanted to do it again. That’s only come in the last little bit,” said Smith.

“I certainly feel as though I’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of years. I feel like all the work I’ve done in particular with Gotcha 4 Life has been hugely beneficial and given me almost a different perspective on life outside of cricket.

“Before I was almost just solely cricket, and that was it. Having more life experiences and learnings over the last couple of years I feel like I would be in a better place as a leader.

“I would try and be a bit more relaxed in the way I go about things.

“I’ve made strides in that area of my life.”

The Steve Smith Cricket Academy will primarily be hosted on a new YouTube channel to allow cricketers from Australia and overseas access to behind the scenes video content, tips, lifestyle and mindfulness content aimed at helping followers achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“For me it’s a good chance to give back. Over the last year or so in particular being in quarantine a lot and just being in hotel rooms, it’s given me time to think about ways I can give back,” he said.

“Hopefully some young budding cricketers can learn some stuff from it and take some things out of it.”

 

corbies

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Laughable if actually true
I have no doubt it's true in that he wants to be captain but I doubt he's mounting some villainous campaign to undermine Cummins at any opportunity. They'd just know that Smith saying he wants to be captain would get them in the news and people will eat it up. Those news articles then include links to the cricket academy.
 

holybishop

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I have no doubt it's true in that he wants to be captain but I doubt he's mounting some villainous campaign to undermine Cummins at any opportunity. They'd just know that Smith saying he wants to be captain would get them in the news and people will eat it up. Those news articles then include links to the cricket academy.
The fact that Steve was happy to answer the question without any thought of the destabilising effect his answers would have is just further evidence he does not have the judgment to be captain.
 

Leeda

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looking for a robust entrance into the new season as Timmy Paine saunters towards a new Ashes season as Captain of the Core...
 

archibald

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The fact that its taken him 30 years to get some life perspective outside of cricket probably indicates that he's unlikely to ever be a good captain. His selfishness is his greatest strength and weakness.
 

The Passenger

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The fact that its taken him 30 years to get some life perspective outside of cricket probably indicates that he's unlikely to ever be a good captain.
It's been pretty well documented that Smith - at least, as a youngster - didn't have much of a plan B to fall back on if he didn't make it as a professional cricketer.
 
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