‘As captain he was excellent, I’d support him getting that job again’: Tim Paine backs Steve Smith as Australian skipper
Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine has backed his teammate Steve Smith for getting the post of captain once again. The latter has produced excellent results as an Australian captain including a 4-0 win over England in The Ashes 2017-18. However, he had to step down from his post and face a year ban following his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.
Tim Paine said that Smith was ‘excellent’ as a leader and got ‘better and better’ with time.
“I think so. Obviously, I don't make that decision but the time I played with Steve as captain he was excellent. Certainly, tactically he is as good as you get,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Paine as saying.
“He's probably a bit like me when I was at the start of my captaincy journey in Tasmania -- he was thrown into a very big role at a very, very young age and he probably wasn't quite ready for it.
“But by the time I came in he was growing into that role and getting better and better. Then obviously [in] South Africa events happened and he's not doing it anymore. But yeah, I would support him getting that job again,” Paine added.
Australia is slated to play a one-off Test against Afghanistan later this year before they take on England in the Ashes. When asked about any plans to retire, the Australian skipper said he had ‘at least another six Tests’ in him.
“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.
Smith's captaincy ban expired last year, however, he was not handed back the leadership post as Paine continued to lead the side in the longest format of the game. Earlier in March this year, Smith had openly talked about wanting to lead Australia again.