MELBOURNE, Dec 15: Former batsman Mark Waugh believes Steve Smith has repented enough for his role in the ball-tampering scandal and needs to be handed Australia�s Test captaincy after the retirement of incumbent Tim Paine.
Smith was removed from captaincy due to his involvement in the scandal in 2018 which also led to a review of Australia�s win-at-all-cost team culture.
However, ahead of the four-Test series against India, there has been discussions and debates on whether it is time to reinstate Smith as captain after Matthew Wade was made the stand-in skipper in the second T20I in the absence of an injured Aaron Finch.
�I would have made Steve Smith captain. He is one of the best players in the team, so he is always going to be picked in the team,� Waugh said on Fox Sports� Heavy Roller Podcast.
�Plus he has captained Australia for a number of years. He�s got a great cricket brain and I think he is a leader, so why not?�
Smith had captained Australia in 34 Tests, 51 ODIs and 8 T20Is between 2015 and 2018 before being banned for a year for the sandpaper scandal that happened in Cape Town two years ago.
�He�s paid his penance there, so he gets back to captain. I think he is a pretty good captain.�
However, spin legend Shane Warne believes Smith�s time as captain is up and he should just focus on amassing runs for the country.
�I wouldn�t (make him captain), I think Steve Smith has had his time. I would go with someone else as captain. Steve Smith we want to bat and bat,� Warne said.
�I think we just let him bat and play. His time has been over. It has got nothing to do with the issues in South Africa for me. I just think it is time for someone else.�
Recently, former Australia wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist had backed Smith, saying there is no reason why he should not be allowed to be the captain again. � PTI