EXCLUSIVE: Tim Paine injury opens door for Steve Smith to end captaincy exile, says Mark Taylor

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Injured Paine's replacement is narrowed to two
15 hours ago

15 hours ago

Legendary Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor says the time is right for Steve Smith to be brought in from leadership exile and lead the Test team against England in this summer's Ashes.

And Taylor says it's a race in two to replace injured Tim Paine behind the stumps following revelations this week the skipper may miss the entire summer.

Paine will undergo surgery to fix a bulging disc in his spine and he will be racing the clock to take part in the five-Test series against England, which is slated to begin on December 8, although COVID-19 threatens to derail those plans.

The absence of Paine will leave Australia without a wicketkeeper and without a captain, and the Cricket Australia selection panel must decide who fills those boots.

The captaincy appears to be Pat Cummins' to lose, given he's been the understudy for some time now. But Taylor believes Smith should be considered, too.

Tim Paine. (Getty)

Smith captained the Test team until the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, which earned he and David Warner selection bans and pushed them out of the leadership equation.

Warner will never be given a leadership role again. Smith is technically now allowed to do the job, but some believe his cards have been marked in terms of captaining the country's favourite team…
Simon Brunsdon
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