Tim Paine backs Steve Smith to regain Australia Test captaincy

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Australia captain Tim Paine has thrown his weight behind Steve Smith, saying the star batsman is good enough to regain captaincy when he ends his stint as the skipper of the senior national team. Paine has no plans to immediately vacate the position but is confident that Smith is an ideal candidate for the top job.

Paine’s comments come after Steve Smith said in March that he will be open to captaincy if offered a chance to replace Tim Paine. Notably, Paine took over as captain from Smith after the star batsman was banned for two years from leadership roles for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that brought disrepute to Australia in South Africa.
“I think so. Obviously, I don’t make that decision but the time I played with Steve as captain he was excellent,” Paine told Newscorp media on Thursday.

“Certainly tactically he is as good as you get. Then obviously South Africa events happened and he’s not doing it anymore. But, yeah, I would support him getting that job again.”

Tim Paine was under pressure to relinquish captaincy after Australia lost a home Test series to a weakened Indian side earlier this year. Australia lost a Test match for the first time since 1988-89 at the Gabba as Ajinkya Rahane-led India won the Brisbane Test to seal the series 2-1.

Paine has no plans to relinquish the captaincy but suggested he might be tempted to bow out of the game if Australia dominate England in the 2021/22 Ashes.

“If I feel like the time is right and we’ve beaten the ‘Poms’ 5-0, what a way to go out. But it might be a tight series and we might be chasing 300 on the last day and I’m 100 not out and hit the winning runs – and then I might go again.” Paine said.

Australia selectors chairman Trevor Hohns said in November Smith would probably be a contender to succeed Paine but selectors had not discussed it.

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Vishwas Gupta