'State of destitution': Test cricket great's big Aussie criticism

Test legend Ian Chappell thinks Australia has a leadership problem.

A former Australia captain himself, Chappell insists the lack of candidates for the role in Australia's current crop of players is a worrying sign.

SKIPPER’S SPRAY: Tim Paine extends feud with India captain Virat Kohli

'HE’S A MOLE': How Shane Warne helped Pakistan take down Steve Smith

“How has Australia, once regarded as the best groomer of captains in the cricket world, reached such a state of destitution,” Chappell wrote for ESPNcricinfo.

Speculation has swirled about what will happen when Steve Smith's leadership bans in April next year, with opinion divided about whether he should be reinstated as captain.

Current skipper Tim Paine, 34, looks set to keep his position but admitted recently that he's not sure how much longer he plans to play on.

Which player succeeds Tim Paine as Australia captain has been the subject of intense debate. Pic: Getty

Australia's captain's have traditionally come from their batting ranks but Chappell says there are few obvious options presently, that could step into the role.

Chappell says the leadership "problem" stems from a number of factors, including a packed international schedule that denies many young players the chance to gain valuable captaincy experience for their states.

The former national selector also pointed to the mental health concerns facing Australian cricket that have seen the likes of Will Pucovski - a young batsman touted as a potential future captain - decide to rule himself out of Test contention to focus on his wellbeing.

Chappell says with all things considered, maybe it's time for Australia to go against tradition by looking to one of Australia's established bowlers to lead the side into the future.

“Perhaps CA (Cricket Australia) are on to something, given they appointed Josh Hazlewood and then Pat Cummins as co-vice captains of the Test team," he said.

However, Chappell insisted that if Smith was reinstated as captain when his ban ends then it would be an indictment on Australian cricket.

Steve Smith could potentially return as captain when his ban ends in April next year. Pic: Getty

“CA had better hope that either a good candidate has surged to the head of the queue or Smith is in the right frame of mind to tackle the job a second time. If Paine’s successor is Smith, it’ll mean the Australian captaincy production line is in need of a serious recharge.”

Aussie side finally looking stable

Despite Chappell's leadership concerns, the Aussies can take solace from the fact they look to have a settled Test team for the first time in 18 months.

Josh Hazlewood took four wickets on Sunday at the Gabba, with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc also chipping in to have Pakistan all out for 335.

It gave the Aussies a commanding innings and five run victory.

The end didn't come as quick as the Aussies would have liked.

Babar Azam hit 104, combining with Muhammad Rizwan for a 132-run sixth-wicket stand that stalled Australia's charge.

But when Nathan Lyon had Babar caught behind and Muhammad upper-cut Hazlewood to third man on 95, it left the tail open and Hazlewood capitalised.

Two weeks ago, it was a mystery who would fill some of the spots in Australia's XI.

Now the side looks set for the summer, realistically for the first time since the ball-tampering scandal that had rocked the team in March 2018.

"Every time you pick, you want to be able to stick," captain Tim Paine said.

"It's been hard to have stability because we haven't been performing as well as we would have liked.

"I think we have nutted out a really good group at the moment; a group that can still get a lot better as well which is a really pleasing thing."

Joe Burns locked himself in as David Warner's long-term partner, combining for a 222-run stand at the top as the pair showed why they loved batting together.

Warner silenced any questions over his own form, with his 154 from 296 balls in the first innings eclipsing his total runs scored and deliveries faced from the whole Ashes series.

Marnus Labuschagne also looks a lock at No.3, with his maiden hundred becoming a big one of 185 as Australia cruised to 580 in their first and only innings.

Australia's ability to score runs without Steve Smith firing was also crucial, given they passed 300 in an innings in which he had failed for the first time since the 2014 Boxing Day Test.

"The early signs would suggest, yes (we've found a top three)," Paine said.

"We've known Burnsy is a quality opening batter for a long time. It was great to have him back in the side and he's got a great combination with Davey.

"Marnus was given some opportunities 18 months ago when some people thought he shouldn't have. But I think selectors saw the talent he had.

Starc finished with seven wickets for the match, rushing through the tail in the first innings and claiming two early scalps to run through their top order in the second.

Amid some tough spells on Sunday, he still looks a more controlled bowler this summer after making small tweaks to his action while sitting out most of the Ashes.

Cummins again showed hit potency as both an opening bowler and at first change.

He grabbed the first scalp of the summer which kickstarted a Pakistan collapse from 0-75 to 4-78 in the first innings.

The quick also removed Asad Shafiq on the third evening, after the right-hander had been a thorn in Australia's side in the first innings.

With AAP