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Tim Paine hopes Steve Smith will captain Australia again
Australia News

Tim Paine hopes Steve Smith will captain Australia again

Tim Paine has supported Steve Smith's return to captaincy once his leadership ban expires in March next year.

Smith had led Australia before receiving a 12-month suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town last year.

Smith and his deputy David Warner had confessed to conspiring to apply sandpaper on the ball in the third Test against South Africa after television footage showed Cameron Bancroft altering its condition.

The 30-year-old was additionally barred from captaining the team for two years.

Smith, currently ranked No. 1 in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen, racked up 774 runs in seven innings in the Ashes series against England earlier this summer.

His remarkable batting performances have lent weight to growing calls for Smith to take over from Paine as the Australia skipper.

Paine, who became the first Australian captain to retain the Ashes in England since 2001, has addressed the uncertainty around the side's future leadership.

"I'm enjoying having the job at the moment... and I certainly hope Steve Smith does captain Australia again one day, and if he does, I'll be fully supportive of it," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Paine has often been criticized for his woeful form with the bat – he scored just 180 runs at an average of 20 in the five-match series in England.

Although he struck the second first-class century of his career recently against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield fixture, questions persist over his place in the side.

Australia head coach Justin Langer had praised Paine's "brilliant" leadership and deemed him a suitable candidate to take the team forward.

Paine's next assignment in charge of the side will be the two Tests against Pakistan at home.