Pat Cummins emerged because the frontrunner Saturday to take over from disgraced former Australia Check skipper Tim Paine, with the likes of Mark Taylor, Dennis Lillie, and Steve Waugh all singing his praises.
The 28-year-old, who has served as vice-captain in each Check and white-ball codecs since 2019, is extensively seen as in a two-way race with Steve Smith to imagine the reins after Paine’s shock departure on Friday over a sexting scandal.
The bombshell transfer got here simply weeks earlier than the blockbuster Ashes sequence in opposition to arch-rivals England, with selectors anticipated to behave shortly to anoint a successor.
Paine stepped down after a sequence of allegedly sexually graphic textual content message exchanges with a Cricket Tasmania worker in 2017 got here to mild, regardless of being cleared by cricket authorities of any offence on the time.
Smith, who was stripped of the captain’s armband and banned for a yr after a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 which culminated with Paine taking up, has assist to finish a exceptional profession revival.
However Cummins seems to be the inheritor obvious, with Smith tipped to be his deputy.
If appointed, Cummins will turn out to be the primary specialist quick bowler to captain the aspect since Ray Lindwall did so for a single Check in 1956.
Former captain and Cricket Australia board director Mark Taylor mentioned he anticipated the governing physique would make a clear break with the previous given the circumstances through which Paine stop.
“I think CA will probably want to go for someone fresh and clean. The timing will make it a more comfortable decision for CA to make Pat the captain. It will be hard to go back after another controversy to Steve,” he informed the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday.
“I know Pat very well, he’s a terrific fella,” he added. “I think it is harder for a quick bowler to be captain, but in terms of leadership he will be very good because he’s a good, solid human being.”
Quick bowling nice Lillie can also be a giant fan, having mentored Cummins lately.
“He’s an intelligent guy but more than that, he’s got real cricket smarts,” he informed cricket.com.au earlier than Paine’s announcement.
– Able to go –
Regardless of Australia by no means earlier than opting for a quick bowler as everlasting captain, Lillie would not see an issue, pointing to different groups efficiently happening this route.
“There’s been fast bowlers who have captained. Imran Khan (Pakistan), Bob Willis (England) …they are modern cricketers that have proven really strongly that a fast bowler certainly can captain the side.”
Fellow Australia legend Waugh additionally has religion in Cummins, however mentioned he would wish to lean on his deputy, notably whereas bowling.
“I’ve always thought that if he’s bowling the vice-captain could set the field to give him a mental break,” Waugh mentioned. “He has good acumen, the respect of the players and he’s ready to go.”
Whereas Cummins and Smith are on the forefront, Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head — who’re each within the Ashes squad — have additionally been vice-captain at numerous levels.
Paine has solely stood down as skipper and insisted in his tearful press convention that he nonetheless desires to maintain wicket in opposition to England, however that seems doubtful.
“I’d say it’s going to be tough for him to hold his spot in the team now,” former nationwide selector and Check star Mark Waugh informed industrial radio station 2GB.
“He’s 36 years of age, he’s coming back from injury, and he’s got this scandal hanging over his head … there’s a lot of things against Tim Paine now.”
If Paine is minimize unfastened, Alex Carey or Josh Inglis may take the gloves for the opening Check in Brisbane on December 8.