Having recently taken over the captaincy at Rajasthan Royals from Steve Smith in the wake of the ball-tampering controversy that has rocked Australian cricket, Ajinkya Rahane believes it is important to respect the Aussie batsman’s record.
Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned by Cricket Australia for their roles in the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town. Smith and Bancroft incidentally were the two players who admitted to this incident after the third day’s play in the third Test against South Africa.
“Whatever had to happen has happened. It’s bygone now. It is not for me to comment on the amount of penalty handed to him by the Cricket Australia and the ICC. But his cricketing record should be respected. I respect him as a batsman and player,” Rahane said during a media conference.
Along with Smith, his teammate David Warner also lost his captaincy with the IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad in the aftermath of the controversy in South Africa.
The absence of both the Australian batsman means there is added responsibility for the other players according to Rahane, more so on him as the captain of the Royals.
“Yes we would miss him but we have a replacement Heinrich Klaasen. I feel it is an added responsibility and also a big challenge for me,” said Rahane.
Smith, Warner and Bancroft were all sent home from the South Africa series by Cricket Australia after a probe. All three players, on arrival addressed the local media in emotional press conferences and apologised for their actions.