Steve Smith would be keen on Australia captaincy return

David Warner Steve Smith Australia Sri Lanka T20 PA

Some three years after being banned and stripped of the captaincy, Steve Smith would be keen to lead the side again, if Cricket Australia trusts him with the job.

The 31-year-old was barred from playing international cricket for 12 months and was stripped of the captaincy for at least the next two years, at the time, after the ball-tampering incident against South Africa in Cape Town.

Since his return to the side, the prolific right-hander has once again established himself as the star of the Australian batting line-up in red and white-ball cricket.

Current Test captain Tim Paine turned 36 recently and is under pressure after his side lost to India at home in their recent Test series, while Aaron Finch, the ODI and T20 captain, is 34.

Few other genuine candidates

Various others have had stints as vice-captain, like Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, and Pat Cummins, but only the big quick is a certain inclusion in the side and historically Australia have leaned towards batsmen as captains.

While Smith was previously unmoved when asked about a possible return to captaincy, he has now confirmed that he would be available if the opportunity comes up.

“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 said as quoted by SMH.

“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.

“I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there.

“I’ve been through all that now. 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.”

Plenty of time to poinder decision

Australia will have some time to plan their next leadership decision since they have little cricket scheduled for the remainder of the year.

A proposed tour to South Africa was indefinitely postponed, and while there are white-ball tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh prior to the T20 World Cup later this year, their next Tests are at home to Afghanistan and England at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Smith has recovered from an elbow injury and will depart to India for the IPL later this week.