steve smith and adam gilchrist
Steve Smith (L) and Adam Gilchrist (Getty Images)

Despite his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, Steve Smith has every chance of returning as Australia captain in future, feels wicketkeeping legend and three-time world cup winner Adam Gilchrist.

Smith is currently in the midst of a 12-month ban imposed by Cricket Australia after he admitted to knowing the plan to alter the condition of the ball during the Newlands Test against South Africa earlier this year. David Warner, the mastermind behind the plan, had tasked Cameron Bancroft with its execution.

In the aftermath of the revelations, Smith was stripped of the Australia captaincy and will not be able to hold a leadership role for next 12 months after the end of his ban. But Gilchrist isn’t ruling out an ‘amazing story of redemption’ since age is on the side of the 29-year-old batsman.

“I don’t think it’s out of the question that Steve Smith could possibly captain Australia again one day,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Foxsports.com.au on Wednesday. “He’s young enough and if he wants to play long enough, there’s every chance … Wouldn’t that be an amazing story of redemption.”

Smith broke down while holding a press conference after returning to Australia from the South Africa tour and apologised for his part in the scandal. Gilchrist, who played 96 Tests, 287 ODIs and 13 T20Is for Australia between 1996 and 2008, says Smith has shown he regrets what happened and knows what impact the incident has had.

“We all understood that he’s shown his remorse and his disappointment in himself and the damage that came out of that incident … Who knows down the track but it’s a long way off,” the 46-year-old said.

Tim Paine, the new Australia Test captain, has impressed Gilchrist with his captaincy and glovework.

“The few hours I saw he was outstanding, his glovework has been terrific. He’s pouched a few fantastic catches that many non-keepers would just think are meant to be caught but you’ve got to catch them, and he’s been terrific … I think his leadership has been really impressive,” Gilchrist said.

“He’s the Australian captain, no one else is … he knows and we all know it’s not about the talk, it’s about showing the actions and I’ve been really impressed with his first couple of days.”