Mon, 14 Jun 2021

Tim Paine backs Steve Smith for Test captaincy

ANI
13 May 2021, 17:55 GMT+10

Sydney [Australia], May 13 (ANI): Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has come out in support of Steve Smith as he feels the right-handed batsman deserves another chance to lead the team from Down Under.

In March this year, Smith for the first time had openly talked about wanting to lead Australia again. The 31-year-old cricketer was removed as the skipper following his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.

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.

"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 at a dinner for the Chappell Foundation.

"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 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.

In 2019, the fifth and final match of the 2019 Ashes was won by England by 135 runs to level the series 2-2. However, Australia retained the urn as they had previously won the Ashes in the 2017/18 season.

This was the first time in 47 years that the Ashes ended as a draw. The last series which ended as a draw between England and Australia was in 1972. (ANI)

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