• Paine: Labuschagne could be captain

    Australia captain Tim Paine has named the South Africa-born Marnus Labuschagne as a potential successor.

    Paine assumed the captaincy from the banned Steve Smith after the ball-tampering saga that rocked the 2018 Test series against South Africa.

    Smith was also suspended from captaining Australia for two years. That suspension ended earlier this week.

    Whether Paine is retained, Smith returns to the captaincy or someone else is appointed remain to be seen.

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    ‘I know what I’m thinking, in terms of how far I can play on and we’re on the same page, coach Justin Langer and I,’ said Paine.

    ‘We’ve got a number of guys to choose from who can put their hand up. There’s Steve, who has done it before, or the people who are developing underneath like a Travis Head or an Alex Carey; Marnus and Pat Cummins are other ones.

    ‘We’re starting to build some real depth so that when my time’s up we’ve got a number of options.’

    Labuschagne has been a relatively permanent fixture in the Australia Test XI since last year’s Ashes series. He recently broke into the ODI XI during the tour of India and struck a century against the Proteas in Potchefstroom earlier this month.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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