Australian Test skipper Tim Paine believes that former captain Steve Smith would certainly like to take up the role again in the next 6 to 12 months.
Paine was under the pump after Australia's home Test series loss to a depleted Indian side and there were talks of him stepping down as captain. He has continued to be in the role but Australian selectors might be considering to select somebody to take up the captaincy by the next year or so.
The current skipper, Tim Paine, was asked about whether he has spoken to Smith about the latter wanting to become captain again.
Paine told SEN, "About his captaincy? Not as much, but certainly about captaincy. I'm always standing next to Steve in the slips and off the field, we're always having conversations about it."
"There's no doubt he would like to do it, I think, but we'll just wait and see what happens in the next six to 12 months. Pat Cummins is obviously someone we're trying to upskill, but he's one of many, there's Travis Head, there's Marnus Labuschagne."
"One of things we're trying to do is develop more leaders in our team and Steve Smith is certainly one of those," he added.
It has looked like managing captaincy, wicketkeeping and batting has been difficult for Tim Paine. He believes that it wasn't too difficult until before the Indian Test series but the last two games were too much to take for the Australian captain.
Paine said, "If you'd asked me before the Indian Test series, I would have said 'not that difficult'. It depends on the situation. This last two Test matches of the series I found it quite challenging."
"Whether that's because of the hub-style life that we were in or the pressure that was on us to win those Test matches. There's a lot at stake in all international cricket. I got a bit distracted by some things I probably shouldn't have in this series but I'll learn from that."
"Normally I haven't found it too bad juggling the three of them and I'll continue to do it as well as I can for the next little bit," he asserted.
Just like the 36-year-old, Australia's limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch has also been under pressure especially after Australia's defeats in the first two matches of the T20I series against New Zealand with three games to go. Paine offered him some support as he too knows the pressure of being in such a situation.
Tim Paine said, "I think I will in the next week or so. We're in a few group chats that we're always chatting a bit of rubbish in, but I might send him a bit of support this week because I was certainly going through similar things at the back end of the Indian series."
"It's a pretty difficult spot to be in but we know Finchy is a class player, he's one of our best players and one of the best T20 opening batters players in the world."
"He'll come good at some stage. He missed out in the Big Bash but I think internationally he's been pretty good for a long period of time so he's got plenty of credits in the bank," he concluded.
(With inputs from Sporting News)