#timpaine

The last time an Aussie captain folded to the whims of Warner…

Oh the irony. So critics want Paine removed as captain of the Aussie test side because they didn’t let David Warner go for a record. Is it up to the captain to indulge individuals at the expense of the team, which has a sole purpose to win? Remember the last time that an Australian test captain indulged David Warner? He was sacked for the ball tampering scandal because he buried his judgment and folded to his Vice-captain Warner in South Africa.

CM has zero time for the opener. A fantastic talent in his own right but such a dreadful role model.

Never again

Make Steve Smith captain again? On what grounds? He repented? It is irrelevant. He showed in the Sth Africa tour that the job was way beyond him. The best player isn’t always the best captain.

Yes we all make mistakes, but to turn a blind eye to cheating only proves that he doesn’t deserve another chance. Would you want a doctor to operate on you whose last 10 patients died under his scalpel?

Yet The Guardian‘s Russel Cunningham makes the argument that he didn’t break the law and the team has lost its “mongrel mojo” without him at the helm. Really? Under Tim Paine and Adam Finch the performances seem pretty decent. Not worthy of dumping either of them. Coach Justin Langer is doing a splendid job reshaping the side.

Steve Smith should never captain Australia again. What message do we send to aspiring kids? It’s ok little Johnny if you cheat. You’ll be forgiven. To make Smith captain of Australia again would take us back to the attitudes perpetrated by the previous board. No thanks.

Langer should tell selectors to keep Warner out

Just do it? There are two options. Aussie cricket coach Justin Langer knows a thing or two about opening batsmen. He was one of our best. Yes, if we want a better chance of winning sooner we could easily insert David Warner post his ban. However at 32 years and 64 days (154 days when the ban ends), isn’t there an argument to develop new talent for the long term? This is merely putting expedience ahead of principle.

We can argue that Warner will have served his punishment but does the team need to risk diluting its rebirth by reintroduction of a toxic force? Are we to believe Warner will return to the team as a reformed choirboy or play his hand at being the same ruffian who believes in his own mind he’s still a rightful veteran? Proof of the pudding was his trademark celebration after scoring a century in local grade cricket. He has changed not a jot.

Yes we lost the 3rd Test today but despite the woeful batting efforts in the 1st innings, Pat Cummins (who deserved man of the match) showed what grit means. 9 wickets and approaching 100 runs with the bat. We deserved to be flogged when bowled out for 151 runs but Cummins took out the top order including India’s highest scoring batters in the 1st innings for zero in the 2nd. He single handedly rallied his team to believe mentally it wasn’t over when they would have otherwise folded. He made Aussies proud.

Justin Langer has worked some miracles with the gutted side after taking the reins from Darren Lehman. Aussie team captain Tim Paine has also been impressive. Stephen Smith has none of Paine’s tenacity. Smith was made captain for being the best batsman in the world. Ability and leadership aren’t axiomatic. Smith’s weakness was evident. He allowed Warner to bully him into burying his judgement. It speaks volumes of why Smith should never captain again. His only real crime was to be a wimp.

It is also questionable whether Smith has the mental side to regain his top spot. He may well succumb to the pressure. He wouldn’t be the first gifted sports star to fall into a deep and prolonged slump post a scandal.

Warner can play 20 over big bash leagues (BBL, IPL) to earn his keep and feed his family but do we really want to send a message to kids that cheaters can prosper in our national side? His actions were disgraceful. Cheating is cheating and no rush of blood to the head is acceptable when earning millions let alone representing one’s country. It is a privilege to wear a baggy green, not a right.

CM would prefer to lose honorably than win with players who were only ever in it for themselves. Matches like today bear out how fighting as a “team” is so much more admirable. The taste of victory will be that much sweeter. No better opportunity to cast the net wide for sleeper talent who would probably have been overlooked otherwise. Make sure current players are kept on their toes to earn their spot.

It should be impressed upon incumbent players as a deterrent that cheating means life long bans. It would also be a stronger signal that the terrible governance of the farcical former Cricket Australia board is over.

Time to start afresh. Langer should take the option of keeping Warner out of the dressing room. It’s the only sensible choice.