Steve Smith might regain captaincy, Langer reveals
Australia's head coach Justin Langer admitted that certain processes need to be followed before Steve Smith could be considered to lead Australia again. The matter came to light after Matthew Wade was handed the captaincy in the 2nd T20I against India, in the absence of Aaron Finch, who was ruled out with an injury. Notably, Wade was named vice-captain in the opening T20I.
Smith eligible to lead Australia again
Australian middle-order batsman, Smith is now eligible to lead Australia as his captaincy-ban came to an end in March this year. Smith was suspended from international cricket for 12 months as a result of his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal (March 2018). The former was also banned from captaincy for two years. Now, the senior batsman is in contention to lead again.
'Need to follow a process', says Justin Langer
Reflecting on the same, Langer dropped a crucial hint regarding Smith's role. "Of course, we talked about a number of things. We have got so many options. Smith has done a brilliant job in the past," he told Fox Sports. "There is probably a bit of a process we need to go through until he becomes captain again. We will go through that."
What is the present scenario?
Tim Paine is the incumbent captain of Australia in the longest format, who took over the captaincy following Smith's departure. Although Australia's first few assignments under him were miserable, the results have improved with the return of Smith and Warner. Besides, Aaron Finch has been leading the Aussies in white-ball cricket. He has won the trust of selectors with his astute captaincy.
Langer has time and again praised Paine and Finch
Time and again, Langer has termed Paine and Finch "brilliant captains". Notably, the duo has been involved in the resurrection of the Australian cricket team. They had faced dejection after Smith and Warner's involvement in the scandal, which perished the core.
A number of marquee players are struggling with injuries
Presently, the Australians face a crunch with a slew of injuries. Star batsman Warner was ruled out of the T20I series after picking up a groin injury. While fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is reeling with a stiff back, all-rounder Ashton Agar has had a calf strain. Also, Pat Cummins has been preserved for the Test series, and Mitchell Starc remains unavailable for personal reasons.
Will Australia bounce back in the final T20I?
After winning the first two ODIs, the Australians have failed to carry the momentum. They lost the final ODI before losing two T20Is to India. "We have got six injuries, which is really unusual. We will obviously review it. That's one of the challenges moving forward when guys are playing all the tours (and have) different sorts of preparations," concluded Langer.