[caption id="attachment_781451" align="alignnone" width="628"]<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/steve-smith.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-781451" alt="steve smith" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/steve-smith.jpg" width="628" height="355" /></a> Steve Smith (AFP Photo)[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>Serving a one year ban for his role in the ball tampering scandal earlier this year, former <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/australia/">Australia</a> captain <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/steven-smith/">Steve Smith</a> is eyeing a return to the side as the Kangaroos prepare to defend their title at the upcoming 50-over ICC World Cup in England and Wales next year. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/english-crowd-will-be-incredibly-hostile-im-ready-for-that-steve-smith-on-possible-ashes-return-781294">English crowd will be incredibly hostile, I m ready - Smith</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>With Smith's ban slated to end in March 2019, the 29-year-old is focussed on putting the next three months to good use and has been playing club cricket for Sutherland. <p></p> <p></p>"At the moment I am pretty content with where I am at," Smith said during a press conference on Friday. "We'll see what the future will hold. The next three months is about just preparing as well as I can to hopefully be a part of the World Cup and the Ashes." <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/i-had-the-opportunity-to-stop-it-and-i-didnt-do-it-steve-smith-on-ball-tampering-plan-781277">I had the opportunity to stop it but didn t - Smith on ball-tampering</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>Smith also heaped praises on his successor Tim Paine for guiding the Australians to a fantastic win over India in the second Test at Perth -- their first since the first Test of the four-match series in South Africa, in Durban. <p></p> <p></p>In between, the Australians lost the last two Tests on that tour of South Africa, lost the two-match Test series in the UAE and then lost the opening Test at home against India in Adelaide. <p></p> <p></p>"Tim Paine has done an exceptional job and (so has) Aaron Finch taking over the one-day side," Smith said. "He's had a tough start to that with the performances of the team. If I get back and play under them I will do everything I can to help them out and help Australia have success." <p></p> <p></p>"It's been tough at times, particularly when the boys haven't played their best in a couple of games and it's been hard watching and not knowing I can go out and help them," Smith added.