SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06: Australian captain Steve Smith looks on during day four of the Third Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 6, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Over two years ago, Cricket Australia was looking for the next Ricky Ponting. Tim Paine proved himself worthy but was thrown in the deep-end and named Test Skipper in trying circumstances.

Eariler this year however, Ponting said that the likely reason for the ball tampering scandal was the lack of leadership within the squad.

Although people were ridiculing the infamous trio, CA left a sliding door open for Steve Smith to return back into a captaincy role after 24 months.

In Ponting’s point of view, this meant that CA has intentionally left the option for Smith to return to his role of Australian Test captain.

“If Cricket Australia had thought he would have never done it again, they would have put a black line through his name right from the start, but they’ve left that option open,” Ponting told news.com.au.

Edgbaston saw the return of Steve Smith last year, even though the roar of the boos throughout the Ashes series will be heard for decades, the 31 year old has at least gained back most of the respect from his country.

Pointing has no doubt Smith will take over Paine’s role when he decides to walk away from cricket, but worries that if the fans are not on board it could be a “disaster” in the making.

“The public sentiment certainly has changed, and that’ll be the interesting thing to see,” Ponting said.

“It’ll be if the Australian public are willing to allow him to come back and be captain again, because if Cricket Australia made that announcement that he’s going to be captain and it didn’t sit well with the public, then it’ll be an absolute disaster.”