Australia skipper Tim Paine has thrown his support behind Steve Smith replacing him as captain of the test team when the time comes for a leadership change.

Paine succeeded Smith as captain in 2018 after the batsman was banned from international cricket for 12 months and suspended from leadership roles for two years for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Smith said in March he would gladly take the captaincy back if the chance came, and Paine said he deserved to be considered.

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“I think so. Obviously I don’t make that decision but the time I played with Steve as captain he was excellent,” Paine said in comments published by News Corp media on Thursday.

“Certainly tactically he is as good as you get.

“Then obviously South Africa events happened and he’s not doing it anymore. But, yeah, I would…

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