Something happened during the past year while Steve Smith and David Warner were serving their one-year bans from Australian cricket.
Australia found a way to win without them.
Current Coach Justin Langer has identified the reality that both Smith and Warner will be eating humble pie for the immediate future, as neither will be permitted to occupy leadership roles. Smith must wait for another year to be considered for a captaincy, while Warner can never serve in a leadership role for life, which we assume pertains for his life as a cricketer and not the rest of his natural life.
Neither Smith nor Warner is viewed as the cavalry riding to the rescue and both have discovered that when a void is created, something comes along to fill that void.
Cricket Australia, while ruling Smith and Warner out as far as leading the team in ICC World Cup play beginning next month, are still paying both men, as their contracts place them in the top five for richest members of the national XI.
“We’ll draw on their experience on and off the field and it will be crazy not to. There’s certainly going to be challenges for both of them though,” Langer said in Brisbane.
From our perspective, simply being on the oval again would compensate for a lack of authority and we suspect that both men will focus on restoring their reputations.
Nothing earns respect any quicker than smashing a hundred or two would.
For the players axed to make room for Smith and Warner, how the two men react going forward is little consolation, but for Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner, we wish nothing but the best and the hopes that they view the situation as a source of motivation to the degree that when it comes time to make selections, they will provide irrefutable proof that no sane selector would leave them off.