Australia head coach Justin Langer says selectors will take a call on Steve Smith's captaincy when his leadership ban expires

Smith skippered the team until he was suspended for 12 months over a brazen attempt to alter the ball with sandpaper under his watch in Cape Town last year.

Agence France-Presse, Oct 13, 2019 11:47:17 IST

Sydney: Steve Smith's ban on leading Australia ends in March but the star batsman may not want the Test captaincy back, coach Justin Langer says.

Smith skippered the team until he was suspended for 12 months over a brazen attempt to alter the ball with sandpaper under his watch in Cape Town last year.

Australia head coach Justin Langer says selectors will take a call on Steve Smiths captaincy when his leadership ban expires

File image of Steve Smith. AP

Part of his punishment included a further year-long exile from any leadership role.

Calls have grown for Smith to take over from Tim Paine when the ban is lifted since his incredible batting performances helped Australia retain the Ashes against England.

But Langer said it was not a simple decision, with 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.

Langer said he was "doing a brilliant job at the moment".

"He's been outstanding in his time as captain. However long he wants to keep playing for is another thing," he added.

Unlike Smith, former vice-captain David Warner endured a miserable return from the "sandpapergate" scandal, struggling to make double figures against England.

But Langer said he still had confidence in the explosive opener, who returned to form with a century for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield last week.

"He had a poor series against England, no doubt. That's just a fact, and he knows that," Langer said.

"But he also hasn't lost his talent, because he was the highest run scorer in the World Cup two weeks before the Ashes started, and he was the highest run scorer in the IPL (Indian Premier League) before that. So he can bat.

"The other thing about David Warner, my experience tells me that you never write off champion players. And he's a champion player."

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Updated Date: Oct 13, 2019 11:47:17 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
6 New Zealand 6056 252