Tim Paine and four other candidates who could replace Steve Smith and become next Australia captain

Sport360 staff 09:04 27/03/2018
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Will Tim Paine take on the captaincy reins moving forward?

With Steve Smith banned for at least one Test and likely to face more punishment over the ball-tampering scandal, here’s a look at who could become Australia’s next cricket captain.

A decision could be imminent with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland set for crunch talks in South Africa on Tuesday.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

TIM PAINE

Was seen as a surprise choice when drafted in to replace Smith when he stood down as skipper for the remainder of the third Test in Cape Town after the ball tampering scandal erupted. The 33-year-old wicket-keeper had been a shock selection for the recent Ashes series against England after six years in the wilderness. But as an elder-statesman with a calm head, he could get the nod.

Australian Captain Tim Paine gives a press conference at the end of the third Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia won by South Africa at Newlands cricket ground on March 25, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Paine acted as a stand-in during the Cape Town Test.

MITCHELL MARSH

The 26-year-old all-rounder has been in good form with bat and ball and could be a solid long-term pick. After a period of mediocre performances, he has now established himself as a near permanent fixture in the team. The son of former national coach Geoff, he has honed his leadership skills as skipper of Western Australia.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 25: Mitchell Marsh from Australia during day 4 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at PPC Newlands on March 25, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by EJ Langer/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Marsh is not thought to be part of the current leadership group.

USMAN KHAWAJA

An outsider, but the top-order batsman has plenty of experience and patience. Born in Pakistan, the 31-year-old has displayed composure at difficult times and shown his credentials as captain during a stint in charge at Queensland and on the Australia A tour of India in 2015.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 23: Usman Khawaja of Australia bats during day 2 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at PPC Newlands on March 23, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Could Khawaja get a chance to captain the side?

PAT CUMMINS

The tearaway paceman is widely regarded and has youth on his side at age 24. It is highly unusual to have a fast bowler as captain and the burden may be too much, but if cricket chiefs are looking for a fresh start, he could be the man to take them forward. Was tipped earlier this year by Michael Clarke as a captain-in-waiting.

Australian bowler Pat Cummins (L) celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman Temba Bavuma (not in picture) during the first day of the third Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at Newlands cricket ground on March 22, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Cummins is another outsider for the role.

MICHAEL CLARKE

Clarke was Smith’s predecessor, retiring in 2015 after playing 115 Tests. Now a TV commentator, he suggested at the weekend he was open to a return. “If I was asked by the right people, then I would think about my answer,” the 36-year-old told Australia’s Nine Network, although he is seen as a real wildcard.

This photo taken on December 27, 2016 shows former Australian cricket captains and now Channel Nine cricket commentators Michael Clarke (R) and Mark Taylor (L) during the Boxing Day Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG in Melbourne. / AFP / WILLIAM WEST / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Clarke has not played for Australia since August 2015.

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