Get the app

Justin Langer Unsure if Steve Smith Wants Australia Captaincy Back

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

AFP |October 13, 2019, 9:27 AM IST
Justin Langer Unsure if Steve Smith Wants Australia Captaincy Back

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.

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."

Related stories

Is Steve Smith the New Don Bradman?
Nikhil Narain | September 23, 2019, 9:36 AM IST

Is Steve Smith the New Don Bradman?

Aaron Finch Wants One Last 'Crack' at Test Cricket
Cricketnext Staff | September 24, 2019, 6:05 PM IST

Aaron Finch Wants One Last 'Crack' at Test Cricket

Also Watch

Team Rankings

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
see more
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
see more
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
see more