Smith has no full-time captaincy ambition
Steve Smith has no ambition to be Australia's full-time captain again, the 33-year-old said after leading the team to a nine-wicket victory in the third Test against India on Friday.
Smith led Australia between 2014 and 2018 before he was stripped off the honour following a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
He remains Pat Cummins's deputy since the paceman became Test captain in November 2021 and has stepped in three times to lead Australia since then.
Cummins returned home after the second Test to be with his ailing mother and Smith was tasked to script a turnaround in Indore after their back-to-back defeats in Nagpur and Delhi.
Smith did not let his side down and led proactively to guide Australia to a nine-wicket romp well inside three days that also confirmed their place in the final of the World Test Championship in June.
While Cummins is expected to return before the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad next week, it will depend on the medical situation back home in Sydney.
Smith said he had no ambition to return as a full-time captain at any stage.
"My time is done. It's Pat's team now," Smith told reporters, after inflicting on India what was only their third defeat on home soil in their last 46 tests dating back to 2012.
"I've obviously been able to stand in this week, obviously in tough circumstances with Patty going home. Our thoughts are still with him back home.
"But India is a part of the world I love captaining ... it's probably my favourite place in the world to captain."
Smith marshalled his attack with aplomb, took a stunning catch at leg slip to remove Cheteshwar Pujara at a crucial juncture and overall looked in charge in the frenetic, low-scoring contest.
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden was among those impressed by Smith's "inspired" captaincy in Indore.
"You could tell that he was right in the match. He has been brilliant. Tactically on point, up for the challenge," Hayden said during commentary.