Steve Smith, ICC World Test Championship
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Even before Tim Paine stepped down as Australia‘s Test captain on Friday, the selectors have been thinking about making Steve Smith captain again.

Steve Smith is now in the running for the captaincy position after Paine’s decision amid the ‘sexting’ scandal. Paine had taken over from Smith in 2018 amid the ‘Sandpapergate’ fiasco in South Africa.

Steve Smith was handed a ban from cricket for a year and an additional one-year ban from captaincy. Paine, though, was asked to continue as the captain until Friday. Pat Cummins, the vice-captain, is a solid candidate to be named as the new skipper. However, with the Ashes less than three weeks away, the selectors go for the experienced Steve Smith.

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A report in Herald Sun stated that the Australian selectors approached Cricket Australia (CA) secretly in October to bring Steve Smith back as the Test skipper.

“It’s understood the selectors were interested in the idea of Smith being able to captain should an injury or similar occur to Tim Paine, with the proposal given the board’s approval,” ran a story quoting Herald Sun.

Steve Smith could be appointed as vice-captain to support Cummins: Reports

The report further added that Pat Cummins, the world’s top-ranked ICC Test bowler and a respected figure among players and the public, is likely to be the new Test skipper, and Steve Smith could be appointed his deputy to assist him in a new role.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (Image Credit: Twitter)

“However, Smith could be appointed as vice-captain to support Cummins, who would be the first fast bowler to captain Australia since 1956, when Ray Lindwall held the role for a solitary Test.

“Smith was barred from holding a leadership position within the team for two years after the events of Cape Town, with that ban elapsing over a year ago,” the report added.

Paine will be available for selection tough in the Ashes. The first Test is slated for Brisbane from December 8. After that, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are slotted to host the next four Tests. However, that is subject to change.

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