Australia spinner Nathan Lyon has said that it is exciting to hear ace batsman Steve Smith talking about wanting to lead the country again. Earlier this week, Smith for the first time, openly talked about wanting to lead Australia again. The right-handed batsman was removed as the captain following his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018. “It’s exciting that Smithy has said he wants the job again. I think over the last couple of years he’s learned a lot about himself … but also about his captaincy as well. For him to come out and say that he wants it is exciting. He’s obviously learnt a lot and feels like he can do a great job again. If he wants it, in my eyes he can have it,” Lyon told The Unplayable Podcast, as reported by cricket.com.au.
“Tim (Paine) is the current captain and this is the way Tim wants to run the ship, and credit to Smithy, I think he’s been very respectful in that way. There’s been times where Smithy has been able to pass on his knowledge – (he) has a great cricket brain and can see the game different to most people,” he added.
Ever since Australia lost the Test series against India, there have been calls to replace the skipper and Paine has coped with severe criticism.
“I think that’s a great quality to have; when you’ve got people like Smithy in your changeroom, it can only help you. I love playing under Painey. He’s up there with one of the best captains I’ve played under. With him being up there as the best keeper in the world in my eyes, I want him to keep playing, especially with such a big Ashes series just around the corner,” said Lyon.
“This time off, especially for the guys who only play Test cricket, is going to allow us to get fit, get focused and make sure we’re ready for when the summer comes around. Painey has all my support. He’s not going anywhere in my eyes,” he added.
However, hours after Smith spoke about being open to leading the national team if the opportunity does present itself in the future, coach Justin Langer had said the unit is in good hands with Paine (Test captain) and Aaron Finch (white-ball captain).
“We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up — an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good,” Langer told the ABC, as reported by Fox Sports.
“Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available,” he added.
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