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Australian coach Justin Langer doesn't rule out shifting Steve Smith into national captaincy

Sly

Oct. 12, 2019

Australian coach Justin Langer says time will tell whether Steve Smith will be handed back the captaincy duties, following the star batsmen's stellar Test comeback in this year's Ashes.
The former skipper overcame considerable adversity in England, returning to the Test fray after his 12-month banishment following the sandpaper saga, and led the Aussies beautifully.
It's subsequently fueled suggestions Smith should regain the captaincy duties, with former Australian great Geoff Lawson calling for Tim Paine to be removed as captain.
Brought in to take the reigns instantly following Smith's ban, Paine has held the team together strongly, however his performances throughout the Ashes has people scratching their heads.
And speaking on ABC Grandstand on Saturday, Langer refused to hose down the speculation around Smith taking over the captaincy role.
"We have to work out what's best," Langer told ABC Grandstand.
"I mean you saw how exhausted he was from the effort he puts into his batting, whether he wants the burden of Captaincy as well, that'll be something we work out over time.
"Timing's an amazing thing as well. Tim Paine is doing a brilliant job at the moment, we're watching him wicketkeep for Tassie, he's been outstanding in his time as Captain.
"However long he wants to keep playing for that's another thing.
"I'm sure like all these things, it'll get worked out when the timing's right."
The criticism of Paine and his fit as captain of the Test side has been widespread, despite the fact the Tasmanian was the first captain to being the Urn home from England in 19 years.
Former bowling great Geoff Lawson has been one of the loudest voices, arguing that whilst Paine has helped Australia get back on track, he strongly believes the 34-year-old's position had become untenable.
“He’s been absolutely fabulous in difficult times, in unique circumstances he has done a wonderful job, and he brought the Ashes home, but his own personal form has not been terrific," Lawson told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"Even his wicketkeeping suffered. He's usually a very reliable keeper and he dropped a number during the Ashes.
"It's a pat on the back and give him a bonus check, but we've got to move on.
"When that first Test comes around (this summer), that is the time."
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