Steve Smith does not look like replacing Aaron Finch as ODI or T20 skipper any time soon.
Steve Smith does not look like replacing Aaron Finch as ODI or T20 skipper any time soon.

Steve Smith cops another captaincy lockout

STEVE Smith may have usurped Aaron Finch as Twenty20 captain on the eve of the last World Cup, but history will not repeat when Australia hosts the tournament later this year.

Just days after Australia coach Justin Langer moved to lock Tim Paine in as Test captain for at least the next 18 months, Finch has received similar support in the shorter formats.

Smith's leadership ban expires on March 29, but any hopes he might hold of ever leading Australia again continue to fade.

Like Paine, CA powerbrokers are thrilled with the job Finch is doing in both the ODI and T20 arenas.

Finch navigated Australia through a tricky time in England this year as Smith and David Warner returned from their 12-month suspensions at the ODI World Cup.

While the Smith and Warner sideshow threatened to become a distraction, Finch had Australia humming as it won seven of its first eight matches.

Finch also blasted two centuries, and former England captain Michael Vaughan declared the Aussie was the World Cup's No.1 tactician.

Steve Smith (left) usurped Aaron Finch as captain at the T20 World Cup in 2016. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty
Steve Smith (left) usurped Aaron Finch as captain at the T20 World Cup in 2016. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty

Finch, 33, and Smith, 30, will jet to India together this week for a three-match ODI series, which begins on January 14.

The tour will boast a strong Victorian flavour.

With Langer taking a rest, Finch's close mate Andrew McDonald - who led Victoria to one-day and Sheffield Shield titles last summer - will coach the Australian team.

Victorian captain Peter Handscomb is also in the ODI squad for the India tour.

In 2016, Finch received a phone call from former selector Rod Marsh telling him he had been sacked as T20 captain just weeks before the World Cup so that Smith could take the reins in all three formats.

Aaron Finch is a master in the shorter forms of the game. Picture: Luke Hemer/Getty
Aaron Finch is a master in the shorter forms of the game. Picture: Luke Hemer/Getty

Finch told the Herald Sun in October last year that selectors had not given him an iron-clad guarantee he would lead Australia at this year's home T20 World Cup.

However, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts effectively provided that on Saturday.

Roberts said that he was "very comfortable" with Paine and Finch and there was no intention to make a change, choosing to group Finch into a discussion about Paine.

"Tim is doing a brilliant job captaining the Test team (and) Aaron Finch has been outstanding leading the ODI and T20 teams as well," Roberts said on SEN.

"We're not intending to make a change any time soon."

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