Former Australia captain Mark Taylor, who was part of the Cricket Australia board that handed Steve Smith a one-year ban and a further year’s suspension from any leadership role in the ball-tampering incident, seems very satisfied with Smith’s stunning form and feels the 30-year-old will lead the team once again.

Returning from the ban, Smith bounced back impressively in international Test cricket. The right-handed batsman has hit three centuries so far in Ashes 2019 and has helped Australia take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series. The 30-year-old right-hander has amassed a total of 671 runs in five innings so far, nearly the double of what the second-best has in eight innings (Ben Stokes, 354 runs).

“I believe Smith will captain Australia again. I was on the Cricket Australia board that determined the penalties for (Steve) Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft over the events of Cape Town and have no doubt he will be a better leader next time around because of the very harsh lessons he learnt,” Taylor said in a column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“To me, it’s not a matter of whether he (Smith) becomes captain again on April 1. It doesn’t have to happen that quickly,” he added.

“But I’d like to think when (Tim) Paine is finished as Test captain — whether that’s in six months’ time or two or three years — he would be a candidate to lead the side again.”