How much longer will Tim Paine hold onto the captaincy?
How much longer will Tim Paine hold onto the captaincy?

Smith responds to burning question

EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on whether Steve Smith should resume the Australian captaincy, except the man himself.

Smith's two-year ban from leading Australia ends on March 29 but he's unfazed by debate about whether he should be restored to the role.

"Not on my radar at all," Smith said on Friday. "Finchy (T20 and ODI captain Aaron Finch) and Painey (Test captain Tim Paine) are both doing terrific jobs so I'm enjoying playing and pretty chilled."

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There is no obvious successor to Paine in the five-day format and while Aussie legends Mark Waugh and Mike Hussey believe he should assume the captaincy when the wicketkeeper's time is up, others aren't so sure.

Shane Warne, Allan Border and Adam Gilchrist are among those who say Smith will be better off without the burden of leading the team, and he should be allowed to concentrate purely on his batting without any added responsibilities.

Smith and teammate David Warner on Sunday will play their first home international - a T20 game against Sri Lanka in Adelaide - since serving a one-year playing ban for the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March last year.

Smith was also suspended from the Australian captaincy for two years, with Warner banned for life from any leadership role in the national side.

Steve Smith is only focusing on batting, not captaining these days.
Steve Smith is only focusing on batting, not captaining these days.

After a torrid reception from crowds in England during the recent Ashes series and World Cup, the pair said playing on home soil would be welcomed.

"It should be good, I can't wait to play," Smith said. "Any time you walk out and play for Australia it's a great honour and to be back playing here in Australia, I'm excited."

Warner said he was looking forward to playing in front of Australian crowds again.

"For us … we knew what we were going to tackle over there and what we were going to face (in England)," Warner said on Friday.

"And it was about keeping a smile on your face and not letting anyone rattle you.

"Go back probably six, seven years, it probably would have rattled me.

"But this time, you know what to expect when you go there. The English team say the same thing when they come to Australia.

"So for us, it's about focusing on the task ahead, that is playing good cricket and scoring runs."