Ind vs Aus: Justin Langer opens the door for Steve Smith leadership role

Ind vs Aus: Australian head coach Justin Langer has stated that former skipper Steve Smith is in their plan for the captaincy position but “there is a process to go through until he becomes captain again”.

Steve Smith has done a brilliant job in the past. There is a process to go through until he becomes captain again. We’ll go through that,” Langer told Fox Sports.

Notably, in the absence of regular skipper Aaron Finch, Smith was expected to lead the side in the 2nd T20I against India on Sunday. However, the team management opted to hand the captaincy to Matthew Wade.

“Of course, we talked about a number of things,” Langer told Fox Sports, when asked if Smith was considered.

“We’ve got so many options.

“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.”

It should be noted that Smith has been overlooked for captaincy after the infamous Cape Town episode in 2018 when he was found guilty of ball-tampering. He was banned for one year by Cricket Australia while the captaincy of the national team was also snatched from him.

But Smith’s 24-month leadership ban, imposed by Cricket Australia expired in March and ahead of the second T20I, former Australian skipper Mark Taylor said that it is time for the Aussies to move on and reinstate Smith, who recently led Rajasthan during the IPL, as captain.

“There’s no doubt mistakes were made two-and-a-half years ago now in Cape Town. There’s been penalties and they’ve been served,” Taylor told the Nine Network.

“Now we’ve got to move on. Steve Smith is still looked at by this side as a leader.

“He’s a senior player.”

Smith had led Australia in 51 one-dayers, 34 Tests and eight T20s prior to being stripped of the captaincy.