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This is Patty’s group, says stand-in Smith

Steve Smith harbours no ambition to again become Australia’s permanent Test captain, labelling the current side as “Patty’s team”.

Smith says captaining Australia to a 275-run triumph over England in the second Test brought back some fond memories.

But he’s already looking forward to handing the captaincy back to Pat Cummins for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

“I enjoyed it,” Smith said of leading Australia again.

“It brought back some old memories in a way, I guess, and I had fun.

“But it’s Patty’s team and I am vice-captain.

“And I will help Patrick in any way that I can. That is my job as vice-captain and I will continue to hopefully lead with the bat and play some good cricket.”

Smith lost the Test captaincy in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March 2018.

He only returned to the vice-captaincy late last month when Tim Paine stood down as Test skipper and Cummins was appointed captain.

Smith was summoned to captain in Adelaide when Cummins was ruled out when deemed a close contact of a COVID case.

Cummins was dining at an Adelaide steakhouse on Wednesday night when another patron was notified he had the virus.

Smith said he was unaware of Cummins’ situation until Thursday morning, just hours before the Test began.

“I found out around 10 or 11 that morning,” Smith said.

“I had no idea overnight what was going on.

“I only found out first thing in the morning. I had two missed calls from Pat and a message from JL (coach Justin Langer) saying ‘are you awake?’.

“And I thought ‘gee, something is going on here, I don’t know what it is, but something is going on’.

“Then I obviously found out the news that unfortunately Pat was going to be out for his game and that I was going to take charge.”

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