Tim Paine would "fully support" Steve Smith if he succeeds him as Australia Test captain but says there are other strong contenders for the job
Smith's two-year ban from leadership roles at international level for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal ended this week.
Paine stepped up to replace Smith as skipper following his suspension and although the 35-year-old is in the twilight of his career, he has no intention of standing down just yet.
The wicketkeeper would back Smith should he get another chance to lead Australia, but believes there are alternative options for the powers that be to consider.
Paine said of Smith: "He's captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and Welsh Fire in The Hundred; it's something he loves doing.
"If Steve Smith decides that's the way he wants to go then I'd fully support him in trying to do so again."
He added: "We've got a number of guys to choose from who can put their hand up.
"There's Steve Smith, who's done it before, or the people who are developing underneath like a Travis Head or an Alex Carey -- Marnus Labuschagne 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."
Paine has given thought to when he will step aside during a time of such uncertainty amid a coronavirus shutdown, but is giving nothing away.
"I know what I'm thinking, in terms of how far I can play on and we're [Paine, the selectors and head coach Justin Langer] on the same page," he told reporters via video conference.