The next one-day captain of Australia is unlikely to be Steve Smith after the former Test skipper declared he could even be the next man to retire.
Smith blasted the 12th ODI century of his career to give Aaron Finch the perfect send-off in Cairns on Sunday night as Australia finished with a 3-0 clean sweep of New Zealand.
The Australians had spoken about giving Finch a “fitting send-off” and Smith helped make that happen with a man-of-the-match performance.
But when asked post-game if he thought he could step into the void left by Finch’s absence, with a ODI World Cup in India next year, he couldn’t have been less enthusiastic.
“No,” Smith said matter of factly when asked if he would put his hand up.
He was also unsure what he might do should selectors or the Cricket Australia board put the proposition to him
“I can’t say what would happen if they asked me,” Smith said.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know what to do right now.
“I’m getting old myself, so I’m probably the next one to retire,” he half-joked. “So we’ll see.”
After announcing his retirement before the final match of the series, Finch nominated his opening partner David Warner as someone who could take the role.
But that would mean CA overturning a lifetime leadership ban handed down to Warner in the wake of the sandpaper scandal in South Africa.
Warner is back on good terms with CA, which has handed him a topped-up contract to play in the Big Bash this season.
Test captain Pat Cummins, who could also be a contender for the ODI job, although he was rested from the most recent series, said recently that Warner’s ban should be revisited.
“Fundamentally, banning someone for life I disagree with,” Cummins said during Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in June.
“People are allowed to learn and improve and grow. So yeah, fundamentally, I disagree with that concept.
“He’s a fantastic leader around our squad here. If he has a formal role, he’d be fantastic with that as well, so if that ever came up, he’d be great.”