Tim Paine: Steve Smith faces competition for Australia captaincy

Steve Smith's two-year leadership ban expired this week, prompting renewed speculation that he could soon return to captaining the Australian side.

Paine said he had not spoken with Smith about the captaincy but the 30-year-old batsman would not be the only candidate for the role.   -  Getty Images

A rising crop of young talent will compete with Steve Smith to be Australia's next captain, current skipper Tim Paine said on Tuesday.

Smith captained the side before Paine but was slapped with a two-year leadership ban over his part in the ball tampering scandal during a Test in Cape Town in 2018.

The ban expired this week, prompting renewed speculation that Smith could soon resume the leadership duties.

READ: Steve Smith eligible to captain Australia after two-year ban ends

While 35-year-old Paine has acknowledged he is in the twilight of his career, the wicketkeeper said he was not yet ready to walk away from the game.

He refused to lay out a timetable for his departure, particularly with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 shutdown, saying only that coach Justin Langer and selectors knew of his plans.

“I know what I'm thinking, in terms of how far I can play on and we're on the same page,” he told reporters via video conference.

Paine said he had not spoken with Smith about the captaincy but the 30-year-old batsman would not be the only candidate for the role.

READ: Paine robbed after setting up home gym, robbers head straight to McDonalds

“We've got a number of guys to choose from who can put their hand up,” he said.

“There's Steve Smith, who's done it before, or the people who are developing underneath like a Travis Head or an Alex Carey -- Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins are other ones.

“We're starting to build some real depth so that when my time's up we've got a number of options.”

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos