Aussie great Mark Waugh further muddied the debate by declaring a return to Smith is the only replacement option for Australia — should Paine lose the faith of selectors.
“If he’s not captain, who are the choices? That’s the issue,” Waugh said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“If there was a standout candidate I think it might be time for him to step down as captain, but I don’t see it. I just don’t see it. Unless Steve Smith is going to do it there’s no one else I can see who could be captain.
“I think Paine has done a pretty good job and maybe he needs a bit more help on the field with the senior players, because it’s difficult to be a keeper and captain.
- Give Tim Paine the tap on the shoulder with honours. Take Alex Cary on the South Africa tour as keeper-batsman.
- Make Steve Smith captain.
- Get over recruitment from the now irrelevant Sheffield Shield. Recruit from 20/20.
- Cut Starc and play Jhye Richardson. Take Riley Meredith to SA as well. And Adam Zampa to pressure out of form Lyon.
- Play either Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner or Glenn Maxwell for Matt Wade.
- Stick with Warner and give Marcus Harris a run. He should figure the short ball out.