While Steve Smith and David Warner were suspended for a year, Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months for their involvement in ball-tampering. @AFP

A few days before Steve Smith and David Warner are eligible to make a return to international cricket following a one-year suspension from Cricket Australia in the wake of ball-tampering scandal in Newlands in March 2018, former Australia captains – Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell, and wicketkeeping great Ian Healy have questioned the investigation. (ALSO READ: Warner, Smith will destroy bowling attacks when they return: Shane Warne)

While Smith and Warner were suspended for a year, Cameron Bancroft, who executed the plan, using a sandpaper, was suspended for nine months.

Taylor, who was a Cricket Australia member when the scandal broke during the third South Africa versus Australia Test in Cape Town, said that the cricket board’s review, headed by Iain Roy, Head of Integrity, only focused on the said incident.

“There was no probe into finding out how long it had been going on for,” Taylor, who led Australia from 1994-1999, told Wide World of Sports. (ALSO READ: David Warner suggested I carry out ball-tampering action: Cameron Bancroft)

Taylor also said that the “ball management” is going on for a while.

“Was this the first time? There’s no doubt this ‘ball management’ has been going on for a long time, and I dare say every country is either doing it or working out how to do it, but there’s a line somewhere between ball management and ball tampering,” said Taylor.

“The grey area in all of this is how much of this ball management in the past was tampering and went unnoticed,” added Taylor.

Taylor further said that the fixation to reverse-swing the ball, despite having three of the finest bowlers in their ranks –  Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins – has led to ball tampering.

“One of the reasons I think Australia fell into trouble in South Africa last year is because they got so fixated on reverse swing,” Taylor said.

“They had three of the finest fast bowlers in world cricket, and 10 overs into a Test in South Africa they’re working on how to manage the ball to get it to reverse.

Taylor also stated that so much was the obsession to reverse swing the ball that the Australians forgot about the “normal swing bowling that’s been around for 140 years”.

“They got too carried away with reverse swing and forgot about orthodox, normal swing bowling that’s been around for 140 years.”

Chappell echoed Taylor’s views and said that the review should have taken into consideration whether the ball tampering was going on before the Cape Town scandal and should not have restricted itself (the review) to that one incident alone. Chappell also said that for him, it looked more like “they were after Warner” (ALSO READ: Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft have buried David Warner very quickly: Michael Slater)

“That probe was pretty specific and it almost sounded to me like they were after Warner anyhow,” Chappell said, before adding, “If it was going to be a proper probe it would have been far more wide-reaching.”

“I think that’s been going on (ball tampering) for a long time, teams being fixated with reverse swing, to the detriment of getting the new ball to swing,” Chappell said.

“To my way of thinking, as a captain, surely you’re looking to get rid of the top four as quickly as you can, because if you can get rid of them quickly the job gets a hell of a lot easier.

“The other aspect that has suffered through the fixation with reverse swing is spin bowling. I think that’s taken a bit of a back seat because they’re trying to get the old ball ready for the quicks,” added Chappell.

Healy, meanwhile, had no doubts that the ball-tampering in Cape Town was not a one-off incident and was going on for a while. Healy felt that a thorough enquiry into the matter would have brought more players under the microscope.

“They’d certainly been doing it for some time,” Healy said.

“A lot of them got lucky in an enquiry that was very specific to this incident,” concluded Healy.