How Smith and Warner’s leadership dynamic never worked


The leadership dynamic between Steve Smith and David Warner never appeared to work, according to one player who found similar trouble when he deputised for Michael Clarke.

Shane Watson backed Smith and Warner to make an immediate impact when their 12-month ball-tampering bans were lifted next March.

Watson praised Smith and Warner for their hard work in grade cricket – Watson spent time with Smith at Sydney grade club Sutherland – and backed Smith to eventually return as skipper.

As part of his punishment, Warner will never hold a leadership role in the Australian team again while Smith has to wait another 12 months after his return to be considered.

Serving their time: David Warner and Steve Smith have been playing Sydney grade cricket.

Serving their time: David Warner and Steve Smith have been playing Sydney grade cricket.Credit:Seven News


The pair were never close and the events in Cape Town only drove them further apart.

"Steve will only become a better leader and person, and he has,'' Watson said.

"My take on the leadership dynamic, and I've experienced it where it doesn't work with the captain and vice-captain, but I think that dynamic [with Smith and Warner] showed it wasn't successful.

"Steve will only become a better leader and then it will be a matter of working out the dynamic of who the best vice-captain is to support him.

"The support Steve got [in his first grade game] when he went out to bat, when he hit a boundary, when he got out, it showed how people feel for him and realise he was involved in making a mistake.

"I also feel they [Cricket Australia] realise the punishment was way over the top. If you get done for ball tampering in Tests, it was one Test match. But 12 months? It was so excessive. It was ridiculous.

"The best way people learn about themselves and grow is when things don't go right. Steve and Dave I know have used this as a huge learning experience about being better people and leaders and what they stand for.

"These two guys, the reason they've been as good as they are is because they're always looking to get better as cricketers and as people.

"But both guys are playing high-quality cricket and won't take much at all to step their game up straight away.''

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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