Steve Smith’s captaincy ban is close to expiring but while he’s excited to be taking on leadership roles in global T20 competitions, a return to national honours remains a long way off his radar.
Smith will be free to captain Australia again at the end of March once the two-year anniversary of the ball-tampering saga passes.
There is no reason to suggest a leadership change would be likely anytime soon with both Test skipper Tim Paine and white-ball counterpart Aaron Finch performing well.
The 35-year-old Paine is thought to be keen to lead Australia to the inaugural world Test championship final at Lord’s midway through next year.
Finch, 33, has back-to-back T20 World Cups ahead in Australia later this year and India in 2021, with the next 50-over World Cup due in 2023.
Smith took over as captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League midway through last season and has assumed the role permanently for the upcoming season.
He will also lead the Welsh Fire in the inaugural season of The Hundred in the UK later in the year.
But after top-scoring for Australia in their ODI defeat to South Africa in Paarl, Smith downplayed the prospect of one day returning to the national captaincy.
“I’m pretty chilled to be honest,” he said.
“I’m just enjoying playing and being among the boys. It’s been really good.
“The guys are doing a terrific job, Finchy and Painey. I’ll support them any way I can and help the team have success and hopefully score some more runs and do my job that way.”
Smith has managed to get plenty of short-form cricket under his belt in recent times, having tuned up for Australia’s T20 series victory in South Africa with a stint playing for the Sydney Sixers in their run to a second Big Bash title.
While he loved his brief return to the BBL, he was unsure whether it would be viable to give Australian representatives a greater window to play in the league.
“You look at the IPL, all Indian players are available to play in that,” he said.
“It’s extremely tough with schedules of international cricket finding time for international players to play in the Big Bash.
“I think it’s a terrific tournament. I really enjoyed playing the last couple of weeks with the Sixers.
“It’d be fantastic if there was a window there where Australian players could play more of it.”
Australia’s ODI squad will be looking to square the ledger when they face the Proteas in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
The third and final game will be played in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
“We were a bit sloppy in all aspects of the game,” Smith said of Australia’s 78-run defeat in Paarl.
“We’re going to have to turn things around quickly to get ourselves back in the series.”