'No end date': Tim Paine responds to Michael Clarke's retirement call

Australia Test captain Tim Paine says he has no end date in mind despite a lot of people telling him when he should retire.

Paine, 35, is thought to be keen to lead Australia to the inaugural world Test championship final at Lord's midway through next year.

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Australia coach Justin Langer has backed Paine to do so but but former captain Michael Clarke has suggested Paine could retire after the home series against India next summer.

Clarke believes Pat Cummins should be Australia's next cricket captain across all formats, while Steve Smith will also be free to captain Australia again at the end of March after the two-year anniversary of the 'sandpapergate' ball-tampering saga passes.

Regardless, Paine said he has not decided when he will pull up stumps.

"I've had a lot of people telling me when I should finish," Paine told RSN.

Tim Paine has responded to Michael Clarke's comments. Image: Getty

"I haven't got any date in mind. Whether that's short term or long term, I haven't got an end date.

"I'm absolutely loving the job that I've got at the moment.

"I'm enjoying playing Test cricket, I'm enjoying the challenge of it...As long as that continues, then I'll stick at it.

"Physically, I'm probably in much better shape than most 35-year-olds."

Paine has enjoyed a break from the national team set-up since Australia's dominant series win over New Zealand in January and said he has benefited from that.

"I think having some time out of the game has put me in a better sort of mental state," he said.

"I feel fantastic. I'm loving what I'm doing.

"I'll keep doing it series by series at the moment and we'll see what happens."

Michael Clarke said he doesn't think Steve Smith is the right man for captain. (Photo by Ryan Pierse - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Steve Smith ‘not the right man’

In declaring Cummins his pick as next captain, Clarke said he doesn’t think Smith is the best choice for the role.

“In sport in this country we have a sense of the best player needs to be the captain. I don’t agree with that, I think the best captain needs to be the captain,” Clarke said on Sky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast.

“In saying that, I think Steve Smith is Australia’s best batsman but I don’t necessarily think he’s the right man to captain Australia.

“For Australian cricket right now, the position they’re in, I think they need one captain across all three formats.

“So again, no disrespect to Aaron Finch, he’s done a wonderful job, but at the end of this T20 World Cup in November this year, I think it could be the right time for him to stand down as well and in my opinion, Pat Cummins (should) take over the captaincy across all three formats.”

Smith not fussed on captaincy

Smith took over as captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League midway through last season and has assumed the role permanently for the upcoming season.

He will also lead the Welsh Fire in the inaugural season of The Hundred in the UK later in the year.

But after top-scoring for Australia in their ODI defeat to South Africa in Paarl, Smith downplayed the prospect of one day returning to the national captaincy.

“I'm pretty chilled to be honest,” he said.

“I'm just enjoying playing and being amongst the boys. It's been really good.

“The guys are doing a terrific job, Finchy and Painey. I'll support them any way I can and help the team have success and hopefully score some more runs and do my job that way.”

With Yahoo Sports Staff