Former Test captain Ian Chappell has accused Steve Smith of “white anting” captain Tim Paine.
Chappell was watching Smith closely in the field on day four of the Second Test and says the former Australian captain has casually put himself back in a position where he can bark orders to his teammates, despite his leadership ban remaining in place until the end of the summer.
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Chappell took exception to Smith’s involvement in field placements, after witnessing Smith make decisions without seeking Paine’s approval.
Smith was also regularly involved in making field-placement decisions during the Ashes in conference with Paine.
Chappell says Smith was taking his position too far by making alterations to Paine’s plans without the skipper’s say-so.
“I tell you what I don’t like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fieldsmen around,” Chappell said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
“He did have a chat with Tim Paine, trying to talk Tim Paine into moving a fielder on the off-side, but I’m not sure Tim Paine moved him as far as Steve Smith wanted.
“Steve Smith started moving him, I hate to see that. England used to do it a bit, blokes other than the captain and I always felt it was white anting the captain.”
Steve Smith and Tim Paine. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)Source:AAP
It remains unclear if Paine will continue to serve as captain once Smith’s leadership ban expires in April and Cricket Australia is yet to reveal its plans for who will lead Australia during next summer’s test series against India.
Chappell wrote in a column for Cricinfo following the First Test in Brisbane that Australia was approaching a captaincy “state of destitution”.
“Smith’s captaincy ban ends in April 2020 and by then Paine may well decide he has had enough of what is a demanding job,” Chappell wrote.
“In the meantime it’ll be interesting to see if any captaincy candidates emerge as viable alternatives.
“How has Australia, once regarded as the best groomer of captains in the cricket world, reached such a state of destitution?
“Like many problems in cricket, it stems partly from the unwieldy international schedule. International demands mean that the better young players are rarely available for club or Sheffield Shield cricket, both of which used to be a substantial component of Australia’s captaincy education system.”
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Smith failed to have his usual impact with the bat during the series. He’s never gone more than two Tests without a half-century but if he misses out in Perth against New Zealand, that will be broken.
Smith’s series average of 20 was the lowest of his Test career, but it could hardly be taken with any real weight considering he came to the wicket at 2-351 and 2-369 in his two innings.
— with AAP
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