Has Steven Smith damaged his legacy as a player?

Giri Subramanian Roar Guru

By Giri Subramanian, Giri Subramanian is a Roar Guru

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    The Australian cricket team has been one of the top sides for a long time, have always been extremely competitive on the field, and played the game hard.

    However, over the last few years they haven’t been able to replicate their enormous success, struggling especially outside Australia.

    Howver, they looked settled in the Test format over the last few months. The demolition of a good English side, who themselves went through a difficult phase with disciplinary issues, meant the Aussies were moving in the right direction under captain Steve Smith.

    The skipper himself was in tremendous form and the bowling was one of the best attacks Australia has ever had.

    The South African sojourn couldn’t have started better for the Aussies, with a crushing win in the first Test. The Proteas were under the pump, having just lost two Tests in a row at home. The second Test disaster though, which left the vice-captain David Warner with demerit points and resulted in the ban of Kagiso Rabada, seems to have affected the visitors more than the hosts.

    The fact that the ban on the genial South African bowler was reversed also seems to have not gone well with the Aussie camp.

    South Africa’s bowler Kagiso Rabada

    AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

    It is hard to imagine a national cricket team captain orchestrating an act of cheating, fully aware of the cameras around the ground, and making a young team member perform the blatant act.

    The coach and the entire Australian camp should have been aware of what was going on in the field, which makes this act even more ridiculous. We have seen some weird ball tampering in the past, like Shahid Afridi’s attempt to bite the ball, the English team rubbing sweets during the 2005 Ashes, and the South African captain himself trying to damage the ball using the zipper.

    This, though, has probably got the most attention and it does not look good for the Aussie captain.

    James Sutherland flying to South Africa to sort out the issue makes us believe that Smith might have more serious issues than the one-Test ban handed out by the ICC.

    The fact that he is the captain of the side makes this even worse than it would have normally been. Smith also needs to take responsibility for dragging a young player into this mess, with Cameron Bancroft still trying to establish himself at this level.

    The coaching staff are also under the hammer at this point.

    Smith the captain has never been able to match Smith the batsman in terms of achievement and now it does seem like the former has brought the latter down to the ground.

    It’s difficult to see Australia bouncing back on this tour and with both captain and vice-captain resigning, the selectors have a huge task on their hands. Whatever the result of this investigation, the Australian Test team needs to make a fresh start.

    Steven Smith the player will come back with his reputation damaged and looking to win back his fans. His actions will display his true mental fortitude and ability to fight back.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      March 27th 2018 @ 2:57pm
      Giri Subramanian said | March 27th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

      Seems like Lehmann is going to resign as well. Not looking good for the Aussie touring party. The problem is that the series is still underway with the Aussies still with a chance to get level. Not sure how they would be able to do the same with Captain, Vice-Captain and coach gone.

    • March 27th 2018 @ 4:47pm
      fp11 said | March 27th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

      Smith’s legacy is damaged forever. He will always be known as a cheater just like Michael Vaughan said. Warner will never play for Australia again. Smith maybe, big maybe. Warner is hated by CA for his antics and for the stand he took during pay negotiations so he’s gone for good.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2018 @ 8:39am
        Giri Subramanian said | March 28th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Seems like both of them are looking at a long ban and all three of them have been sent back to Australia with immediate effect.

    • March 27th 2018 @ 5:09pm
      Big Daddy said | March 27th 2018 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

      Giri,
      I think the last test is immaterial.sso
      The damage has already been done.
      Zany as it sounds australia could come out and win it but without Smith highly unlikely.
      This act has put so much pressure on the non guilty parties( if there were any).
      Just put the rest of the tourists that are available.
      We would be okay for bowlers but Perth is the quickest air trip so there may be a few west Aussie s flying east.
      Too hard too call.
      Nothing will surprise anybody after this.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2018 @ 8:43am
        Giri Subramanian said | March 28th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        The fourth test will be good for Burns, Maxwell and Renshaw to stake their claim in the test team. Australia will still be competitive but it will be difficult for them to beat South Africa after this debacle. The non participating players would be mentally shot and it will be interesting to see how they go in the final test.

    • March 27th 2018 @ 6:33pm
      Timmuh said | March 27th 2018 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

      To answer the headline, that seems unlikely.
      Warne’s half-minimum doping penalty doesn’t seem to have damaged his legacy; Faf, Athers and others have been found guilty of ball-tampering before without their legacy tarnished.

      All that might happen, if CA show a rare sign of integrity, is for the first time in the game’s history a board might actually treat cheating with the seriousness it deserves instead of whing the match referee was too hard in handing down a fine.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2018 @ 8:46am
        Giri Subramanian said | March 28th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        Yup Warne’s doping controversy happened right before the WC 2003. So yes Smith will still remain as one of the best test batsman to have played the game but again there is a tag which gets attached to you forever which Smith could have done without.

    • March 28th 2018 @ 12:13am
      Paul said | March 28th 2018 @ 12:13am | ! Report

      Giri, this is clearly a rhetorical question best left till well after Smith has retired.

      If however he was to give the game away today, he probably be known as one the best batsmen Australia has produced, BUT……..

      Sadly for him that BUT is likely to remain for many years to come, certainly in Australia.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2018 @ 8:50am
        Giri Subramanian said | March 28th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        If the CA bans Smith for a year as the reports suggest, it will be really interesting to see how he comes back after the ban. Whatever may be the ban, his comeback will be really interesting as he will be returning as just a player and not the captain anymore. Australia also are in a conundrum right now with the captaincy choices, with Warner also likely to be banned, they are only left with the bowlers who are experienced. If Glenn Maxwell had established himself as a test player, he could have taken the reigns over. Lets wait and see what happens with Smith and how he adjusts to cricket post the ban. The year long ban meted out to Shane Warne in 2003 did not affect him too much when he made a comeback.

    • March 28th 2018 @ 12:18am
      Paul said | March 28th 2018 @ 12:18am | ! Report

      You mentioned the final Test and it will be interesting to see what resilience Australia shows throughout this game. They are clearly on a hiding to nothing on and off the field, so it would be great to see them play with some freedom, character and spirit. So what if they lose, there’s probably not a person on this planet who think’s they’ll win. They still have a lot of talented guys who at the least should be playing for personal pride.

      The rebuilding you highlighted needs to occur and this Test might be a very good place to start.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2018 @ 8:52am
        Giri Subramanian said | March 28th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

        It will be really interesting to see how they go in the final test. Tim Paine would not be able to believe how the world has changed upside down for him. During the ashes people were questioning his selection and now in few months he is leading the Australian team albeit temporarily but a huge responsibility. Not sure who will take over the long term captaincy for the Australian team, would it be one of the bowlers? Is Nathan Lyon up to it? Or will it be Mitch Marsh?

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