Tim Paine should be captain only as long as Smith isn’t there, says Ian Healy

Paine, who replaced Smith after the latter’s ban, has managed to lead his side to just one win in Tests.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine. (Photo by Mark Brake – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Australia recently faced their first defeats in Test and ODI series against India at home and reactions came out strongly against the home team’s poor show in their own den. The Baggy Greens were set to face Sri Lanka for a two-Test series starting Thursday to salvage some pride. However, former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy is of the opinion that the tenure of the team’s current Test skipper Tim Paine should continue as long as Steve Smith stands banned for he thinks the pressure on him is much too high.

Smith and David Warner, along with young player Cameron Bancroft, were banned following a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March last year. The two senior players were banned for a year and during this time, Australia have struggled against almost all opponents, both at home and abroad. Paine, who replaced Smith after the latter’s ban, has managed to lead his side to just one win (against India in Perth recently).


For Healy, Paine is facing a stiff ask in carrying out the twin roles of captaining and wicket-keeping. No other wicket-keeper has donned two big roles together since the beginning of this century. Healy, Adam Gilchrist and Barry Jarman have also done the duty but only as exceptions rather than the rule.

Paine under pressure, says Healy

“I think Painey has done a fantastic job and I think he will be able to last the ban of Steve Smith, but that might do him,” Healy was quoted as saying by agencies, reported Illawarra Mercury, ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Gabba which kicks off on Wednesday.

“That’s when he’ll be really tired. It’ll be very interesting to find out after that Indian series just how tired he was. How he felt the days after that and how long it took to recalibrate. I don’t think you can do it long term, especially when you’ve got candidates in your side who are just as capable of doing that leadership role.”

The 34-year-old Paine was also carrying out the role of captaincy for Australia in the ODIs till recently when it was handed over to Aaron Finch, who has been the side’s T20I skipper.

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