Steve Smith denies claims he is undermining Australian Test captain Tim Paine


December 04, 2019 09:16:12

Star batsman Steve Smith has rejected criticism that he has been unintentionally undermining Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine.

Key points:

  • Steve Smith was banned from captaining the national team until the end of March 2020
  • But Test great Ian Chappell said he did not like seeing Smith moving fieldsmen around against Pakistan
  • Smith said he was giving suggestions but was not undermining Tim Paine

Former captain Ian Chappell accused Smith of white-anting Paine during the second Test against Pakistan by making fielding adjustments without consultation.

Chappell made the comments while calling the play during Australia’s comfortable win over Pakistan in Adelaide and said he “hate[d] to see” the former skipper taking a lead role in tactics.

“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.”

But Smith has told Channel Nine he was not trying to run the team.

“Look I only try to help Tim as much as I can, you know. He’s doing a terrific job. But I give him suggestions and things like that, I only want the team to do well, I’m certainly not undermining him,” he said.

Smith was suspended for 12 months for his role in the “sandpaper gate” scandal in South Africa and received a two-year ban from any leadership role, but he will again be eligible to lead the national side at the end of March 2020.

In October, Smith hinted he had not closed the door on his captaincy aspirations but said “that could be a long way away”.

Smith was well below his best in the two convincing wins against Pakistan, scoring just 4 in Brisbane and 36 in Adelaide, but told Channel Nine he was happy to see the team do well.

“I always hate not being out there doing it myself but it’s great to see the boys out there play so well and set us for two great victories,” he said.





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