Ricky Ponting Weighs In On Demand For Steve Smith To Captain Australia
Amid growing demands for Steve Smith to be handed back Australia's captaincy once his ban on leading the side ends in March, former World Cup-winning Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has said that Steve Smith deserves another go at captaincy. Throwing his weight behind Steve Smith, Ricky Ponting said that he was confident that Steve Smith's performance as a player will not be hindered by additional responsibilities as captain, unlike coach Justin Langer, had said earlier. Talking to a local news media, Ricky Ponting said that while Tim Paine was the best keeper in the world, it was also up to him to decide when he wanted to call it quits as a captain and said that he would definitely like Steve Smith to get another go as the Australian captain. Pinpointing at the possible options of Tim Paine's replacement as skipper, Ricky Ponting said that there were very limited options apart from Steve Smith and that Steve Smith had some unfinished business that he wants to complete as captain once again. Ricky Ponting also claimed that Steve Smith loved the responsibility as captain of the side and enjoyed success both as captain and as player simultaneously.
Tim Paine backs Steve Smith for captaincy
Tim Paine, who will turn 35 in December, on Monday brushed off questions surrounding the Australian 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.
Tim Paine will not play in this summer's Big Bash League, instead of joining broadcaster Channel Seven's commentary team. But he will almost certainly retain the captaincy for the home summer Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand, despite occasional criticism of his form during the Ashes. Tim Paine recently ended a 13-year century drought by scoring his first ton since his maiden century as a 21-year-old in 2006. Coach Justin Langer has praised his leadership as "brilliant" and said Steve Smith may not want to take on the "burden" of the captaincy on top of batting pressures.
'Not a simple decision for Steve Smith', says Justin Langer
Justin Langer said it was not a simple decision, with Steve Smith admitting his exploits -- 774 runs in just seven innings -- left him mentally and physically shattered. "I've built a good relationship with Steve over the last 18 months, and it (the captaincy) is going to come down to honest conversations," the coach told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday. "You can see how exhausted he was from the effort he put into his batting (during the Ashes), and whether he wants the burden of captaincy as well is something we'll have to work out over time. "I'll be one of the selectors, and I think we'll just work out what's best." Paine, who will be 35 in December, will almost certainly retain the role for the home summer Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand, despite occasional criticism of his batting and captaincy during the Ashes.