Australia spinner Nathan Lyon said that it is exciting that Steve Smith has put his hand up for captaining the team again.
Lyon also said that he ranks current skipper Tim Paine among the best he has played under and thinks the wicketkeeper-batsman is not going anywhere.
“It’s exciting that Smithy 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,” Lyon told The Unplayable Podcast.
Smith, who was removed as Australia’s captain in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal during Australia’s fractious tour of South Africa in March 2018, recently said that he would be keen to take up the position again.
“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,” said Lyon, who played his 100th Test in January and is one wicket away from becoming the third Australian after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath to take 400 Test wickets.
Lyon said that Paine and Smith have worked well with each other.
“Tim is the current captain and this is the way Tim wants to run the ship and credit to Smithy, I think he’s been very respectful in that way. There’s been times where Smithy has been able to pass on his knowledge – (he) has a great cricket brain and can see the game different to most people,” said Lyon.
“I think that’s a great quality to have; when you’ve got people like Smithy in your changeroom it can only help you,” he said.
He said that Paine has his full support.
“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,” said Lyon.
“This time off, especially for the guys who only play Test cricket, is going to allow us to get fit, get focused and make sure we’re ready for when the summer comes around. Painey has all my support. He’s not going anywhere in my eyes,” he said.