Adam Gilchrist says Tim Paine has done a wonderful job as captain of Australia’s Test side and backed him to continue the job despite being in the firing line after the recent Ashes series in England.
There have been talks in the Australian media of Smith potentially taking over as captain after his two-year ban on leadership ends next year.
Smith, of late, has been in stunning form after he scored 774 runs in four Ashes Tests at a staggering average of 110.57. On the other hand, Paine hasn’t enjoyed a prolific run with the bat since taking over leadership duties.
His recent performances in the Ashes were under the scanner with 180 runs in 10 innings. But Gilchrist has thrown his weight behind Paine, saying that he [Paine] is one of the best wicket-keepers in the world.
Gilchrist, while speaking at an event in Mumbai [as quoted by Cricinfo], said: "[If you look at] what he took on, when he took it on, he in partnership with Justin [Langer, the coach] and all the players have done a remarkable job over the past 12 months to just get a nice, stable balance back.
“I can't see any rush to push him out, as long as he's still performing, like we all had to, to stay in the team. Like every other player, he's got a hold of his spot in the team as being selected as the best available option for that player type. I think he's doing a wonderful job [as captain]."
Gilchrist also spoke about Australia’s chances in the T20 World Cup next year. So far, Australia have managed to dominate the shorter format this summer with a series whitewash against Sri Lanka and a win against Pakistan at Canberra.
"I think Australia are really well-placed, seeing how they've started the summer. They love the conditions, they play well in the bigger grounds. We've got everyone available now, and probably for the first time, Australia are looking to pick their best XI regularly, rather than just for the World Cups.
“They're probably still working out whether they should play two spin bowlers or one spinner, with a batting allrounder like Mitch [Mitchell] Marsh or [Marcus] Stoinis. Ashton Agar is doing a really good job, and if you look at all the successful bowlers in T20 around the world, they're all spinners. Nine out of the top ten, I think, are spinners.
“They've got a really well-balanced squad and have time to work out their ideal combination for the World Cup.”