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Australian great labels Smith a “lazy captain” amid Paine's successor speculation


Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy believes Steve Smith's actions in South Africa make him a “lazy captain”, amid speculation the former leader could replace Tim Paine.

Paine stepped down from the Test captaincy on Friday after becoming embroiled in a sexting scandal that occurred in 2017.

He was originally made captain in early 2018, replacing Smith after he was booted from the team for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

Speaking on who could take over, Healy is concerned about the “circus” that could come from Smith being appointed, but doesn't discount him from the role in the future.

“Painey resigned of his own (choice), Cricket Australia said he could stay and the coach wanted him to stay on, (but) he just didn’t want to be a distraction in this circus,” Healy told Sportsday with Satts and Jase.

“We’re going to add to the circus by Steve Smith being appointed after that.

“I’ve got no problems with Steve Smith captaining Australia again, he paid a heavy price for just being a lazy captain, that’s about all he was guilty of.

“Too many people around there think he was actually in there scratching that ball in South Africa, but if they’ve forgotten what happened he just wasn't aware enough as captain to pull the reigns in and stop what was going to happen.

“That was his crime, and he got a year for it.

“So, I’ve got no problems, but I don’t think he needs to come in as vice-captain or straight after Painey’s indiscretion.”

Smith had captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, recording 18 wins, 10 losses and six draws.

Still just 32 years of age, he's renowned as one of the best cricketers of his generation.

His average of 61.8 is the second highest of any batsman to have featured in more than 40 innings.

Pat Cummins looms as the likely man to replace Paine, which would make him the first fast bowler to captain Australia since 1956.

Steve Smith

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