Sport: Smith displays trademark defence as captaincy speculation intensifies - - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport Smith displays trademark defence as captaincy speculation intensifies

05:50  15 october  2019
05:50  15 october  2019 Source:   watoday.com.au

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a man holding a baseball bat on a field: Steve Smith's captaincy ban expires in March.© Getty Images Steve Smith's captaincy ban expires in March.

Steve Smith has demonstrated his trademark defence in response to a series of questions about resuming his role as Australian Test cricket captain when his ban from leadership roles is lifted in March.

Debate about who may take the reins from incumbent skipper Tim Paine - who is closer to the end of his career than the start at the age of 34 - has reignited in recent days.

The two-year captaincy ban Smith was slapped with for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal expires at the end of March and with the leadership cupboard seemingly bare among the current crop of Australian cricketers, several former Australian stars have called for the 30-year-old to once again lead the team.

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Speaking at Baulkham Hills High School after taking part in a Gotcha4Life question and answer session with Gus Worland, Smith played questions about the captaincy with a very straight bat.

"I’m pretty chilled and relaxed. It’s not really on my radar," Smith said.

"I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing at the moment, playing the game that I love and scoring as many runs as I can and helping whatever team I’m playing for win games of cricket.

"Whether that be NSW or Sutherland or Australia, I just want to go out and do my thing and hopefully have some success as a team."

Steve Smith wearing a hat: Steve Smith was the difference between the two sides in the Ashes.© Getty Steve Smith was the difference between the two sides in the Ashes. When pressed on whether he aspires to be captain when his ban expires, Smith offered another trademark leave.

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He was then asked how he goes about blocking the noise from influential Australian cricket identities such as Ricky Ponting and John Buchanan, who have weighed into the debate in recent days.

"People can talk about whatever they want to talk about. It doesn’t mean it has to go into my head or my thoughts," Smith said.

"For me, as I said, I’m really confident with where I’m at right now.

"That’s playing, that’s scoring runs, that’s what I do. I’m in a good place."

Smith also endorsed the way Paine has handled the role after he achieved what both Ponting and Michael Clarke failed to do - return from a tour of England with the Ashes in hand as captain.

"I think Tim is doing a terrific job," he said.

"I haven’t had any conversations about leadership aspirations or anything like that. I’m really comfortable and just doing what I do."

Warne's wicketkeeper twist amid Paine pressure .
Shane Warne has backed Tim Paine as Test wicketkeeper for this summer - but has a bolter as his potential successor.Warne named his side for the first Test in his Herald Sun column, with Usman Khawaja opening the batting and Victorian prodigy Will Pucovski to debut at No.6.

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