'No captaincy position available': Justin Langer on Steve Smith's keenness on Australian captaincy
Only a few hours after Australian batsman Steve Smith expressed his thoughts on being open to taking over the captaincy again should the need arise, head coach Justin Langer responded to his statement by saying Australian cricket is in safe hands with Tim Paine as Test captain and Aaron Finch as white-ball captain.
"We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up -- an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good," Langer told the ABC.
"Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available," he added.
Former skipper Smith, for the first time on Monday, came out in the open to talk about his wish to lead the country's national cricket team again if given a chance.
"I've certainly had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I've got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again, I would be keen," Smith had told News Corp.
"If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it's certainly something I would be interested in now, that's for sure," he added.
In March 2018, Smith's tenure as captain came to a premature end for his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate against South Africa in Cape Town.
Smith, along with David Warner who was also found guilty of cheating the game, was handed a one-year ban on international cricket by Cricket Australia. Cameron Bancroft was only given a nine-month suspension.
"Time keeps moving forward, and I've learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being. I feel as though I'd be in a better place if the opportunity did come up. If it doesn't, that's fine as well and I'd support whoever is in charge the same way I've supported Tim and Finchy. I haven't always felt like I wanted to do it again. That's only come in the last little bit," said Smith.
Since then, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine took over the reins of the Test team and the team under his guidance has produced mixed results.
The chatter on Australia's captaincy picked up pace after the side's 1-2 Test series defeat to India at home. Skipper Tim Paine's leadership came under heavy scrutiny as there have been calls to replace the Test skipper.
Thirty-one-year-old Smith will next feature in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) season. He will turn for Delhi Capitals this year, who will take on Chennai Super Kings in their first game of the league.