Pat Cummins is set to be named Australia’s 47th men’s Test captain on Friday, while Steve Smith is in-line to become his deputy in a return to the leadership team for the first time since the infamous sandpaper scandal.
Cummins, 28, is understood to be confirmed as Tim Paine’s replacement as the man that will lead Australia out against England at The Gabba on December 8.
The decision comes a week after Paine sensationally resigned following a texting scandal which had lingered in the background for years but not come out in public. Paine on Friday withdrew from all forms of cricket and a new player will wear the gloves.
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As reported, the board met and made its decision at a meeting on Thursday night.
The Daily Telegraph reports the two candidates — Cummins and Smith — have since been informed on the board’s decision.
Cummins and Smith were the only two candidates interviewed for the positions after Australian cricket’s most dramatic week since the ball tampering scandal saw Smith stripped of the captaincy in 2018.
Cummins will become the first Australia fast bowler since Ray Lindwall in 1957 to captain his side in Test cricket.
Lindwall, a member of Don Bradman’s invincibles squad of 1948, took on the responsibility for a single Test.
Cummins took over the captaincy of NSW’s one day team last season but has to lead the side in a Sheffield Shield match.
Australian pundits have been split as to whether Cummins should take over the captaincy, citing the heavy workload the world’s best fast bowler will shoulder.
Speaking to foxsports.com.au this week, Australia pace legend Lee said Cummins has all the right attributes to be a great Test leader — but the impediment of being a fast bowler can’t be ignored.
“I’d go Steven Smith. I think Steven Smith has earnt his right to lead Australia again,” Lee said.
“Could Pat Cummins do it? 100 per cent he could do it and I think he’d do a good job because he’s got a great cricket brain, he’s got a real, real good image, he understands the fundamentals of cricket.
“But I don’t want to put pressure on Pat Cummins. Honestly, it’s too hard for a fast bowler.”
Lee pointed to the need for bowlers to rehydrate and reset mentally between overs as key reasons why the captaincy is not suited to the quicks.
Former Australia spinner and fellow Fox Cricket expert Kerry O’Keeffe, however, is of a different opinion.
O’Keeffe noted that there is a precedent for strong fast bowling leaders in the modern era — and that Cummins has recently provided evidence that he’s suited to juggling the captaincy with bowling.
“People say, ‘he’s a fast bowler’. But you look back and one of the most successful Test captains, who never gets mentioned, is Shaun Pollock from South Africa,” O’Keeffe said. “His win-loss ratio is incredible, yet he was taking the new ball for South Africa but orchestrating wins as well.
“And I see Pat Cummins doing a similar thing for Australia.”
He added: “I’d pick Pat Cummins because I think he’s a leader, I think he can get the best out of his team.”
Given Cummins is a three-format player, the decision to make Smith vice-captain will pace the way to the prolific run-scorer returning to the captaincy at some point.
The 32-year-old was banned from any leadership positions for two years following his role in the sandpaper scandal, where it is alleged he turned a blind eye on what his openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were planning.
Source link : https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-2021-australia-vs-england-pat-cummins-named-captain-tim-paine-video-highlights/news-story/b308ddcf44da86fe2da48e554827e8f8
Publish date : 2021-11-26 00:30:00