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Chappell’s awkward Aussie captaincy question

Legendary Australia skipper Ian Chappell has questioned why Steve Smith can captain his country but David Warner can't.

Chappell told Wide World of Sports that he would replace under-fire captain Tim Paine with Warner if it were his decision.

But that won't be happening given Warner was slapped with a lifetime leadership ban by Cricket Australia for his role in Sandpapergate.

Smith's two year leadership suspension ended last year and he is widely viewed as the most likely option to replace Paine.

Smith also has the support of former Test skipper Mark Taylor.

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But Chappell raised an awkward question for CA on WWOS radio on Thursday night.

"Why aren't Smith and Warner in the same category?

"If Smith only gets a 12 month ban on captaincy, why doesn't Warner only get that?

"Or if Warner gets a lifetime ban on captaincy, why doesn't Smith?

"Because Smith's crime in my eyes was greater than Warner's," Chappell said.

"Yeah sure, he might get the captaincy again but I think it's only going to be in the circumstances where there's not much other choice."

Smith was captain in the infamous Test in South Africa while CA fingered banned vice-captain David Warner as the architect of a plan to cheat, alleging he advised Cameron Bancroft how to alter the ball with sandpaper in Cape Town.

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Chappell told WWOS that talk of current vice-captain Pat Cummins replacing Paine was "an indication of how light we are for candidates."

"I've got the greatest admiration for Pat, not just the way he bowls, but the way he plays the game," Chappell explained.

"But I'd be very wary of loading him up with any more responsibility. But where the hell else do you go?

"I know where I'd be going, but he's been banned for life (Warner).

"I think they were hoping (Travis) Head would be a candidate but in my view, he's going to struggle to hold his place in the side on a permanent basis."

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