Nathan Lyon has backed Steve Smith to lead Australia once again. But the off-spinner was quick to name Tim Paine as one of the best captains he has played under. Lyon also indicated that the wicket-keeper-batsman should be Australia's skipper for the Ashes.
Steve Smith recently revealed his desire to captain Australia again. The 31-year-old was stripped of his captaincy and handed a two-year ban from leadership role, following his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018. Smith completed his ban in 2020 and could once again become Australia's captain if called upon.
Nathan Lyon explained he was excited to learn that Steve Smith still harbors hopes of leading Australia.
"It's exciting that Smithy (Steve Smith) has said he wants the job again. I think over the last couple of years, he's learned a lot about himself ... but also about his captaincy as well. For him to come out and say that he wants it is exciting. He's obviously learnt a lot and feels like he can do a great job again. If he wants it, in my eyes, he can have it," Lyon said on the Unplayable Podcast.
However, the off-spinner is happy to be playing under Tim Paine for the time being and has backed the wicket-keeper-batsman to succeed in the Ashes, which is scheduled to start in November.
"When you've got people like Smithy in your changeroom, it can only help you. I love playing under Painey. He's up there with one of the best captains I've played under. With him being up there as the best 'keeper in the world in my eyes, I want him to keep playing, especially with such a big Ashes series just around the corner," added Lyon.
Steve Smith has led Australia in 34 Tests, winning 18 of those encounters. He's the fourth-most successful Australian Test captain in terms of win percentage for skippers who have led the country in more than 10 Tests.
Moreover, the New South Wales star has a staggering record with the bat as captain. In 34 games as skipper, Steve Smith has amassed 3659 Test runs at an average of 70.36, with 15 centuries to his name.
"There is no captaincy position available" - Justin Langer
Tim Paine's spot as captain has come under scrutiny since Australia's defeat against a depleted Indian side in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, head coach Justin Langer recently backed the wicket-keeper-batsman to continue leading Australia in Tests.
"We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up -- an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good, Despite the media chatter, there is no captaincy position available," Langer told the ABC, as reported by Fox Sports.
Pat Cummins is also in the reckoning to succeed Tim Paine as Australia's next Test captain. However, given Langer's recent comments, it seems Paine will lead his country in the Ashes.