Smith responds to ‘white ant’ slap
Aussie star Steve Smith has shrugged off accusations from former Aussie test captain Ian Chappell that he inadvertently "white-anted" Tim Paine.
On the final day of the Second Test in Adelaide Chappell accused Smith of acting out of turn when he appeared to take it upon himself to make fielding adjustments without seeking the approval of captain Paine behind the stumps.
Smith remains banned from leading his country until the end of the summer, following his involvement in the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
Despite Smith being regularly involved in making field-placement decisions during the Ashes in conference with Paine, Chappell took exception to Smith's involvement in field placements on Monday.
Chappell says Smith was taking his position too far by making alterations to Paine's plans without the skipper's say-so.
"I tell you what I don't like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fieldsmen around," Chappell said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
"He did have a chat with Tim Paine, trying to talk Tim Paine into moving a fielder on the off-side, but I'm not sure Tim Paine moved him as far as Steve Smith wanted.
"Steve Smith started moving him, I hate to see that.
"England used to do it a bit, blokes other than the captain and I always felt it was white-anting the captain."
Smith responded to Chappell's claims on Tuesday, by insisting he is doing nothing to undermine Paine's position.
"I only try to help Tim as much as I can," Smith told Channel 9 on Tuesday.
"He's doing a terrific job. I give him suggestions and things like that.
"I only want the team to do well, I'm certainly not undermining him."
It remains unclear if Paine will continue to serve as captain once Smith's leadership ban expires in April and Cricket Australia is yet to reveal its plans for who will lead Australia during next summer's test series against India.
Chappell wrote in a column for Cricinfo following the First Test in Brisbane that Australia was approaching a captaincy "state of destitution".
"Smith's captaincy ban ends in April 2020 and by then Paine may well decide he has had enough of what is a demanding job," Chappell wrote.
"In the meantime it'll be interesting to see if any captaincy candidates emerge as viable alternatives.
"How has Australia, once regarded as the best groomer of captains in the cricket world, reached such a state of destitution?
"Like many problems in cricket, it stems partly from the unwieldy international schedule. International demands mean that the better young players are rarely available for club or Sheffield Shield cricket, both of which used to be a substantial component of Australia's captaincy education system."