Team Australia's Test vice-captain Steve Smith has shed light on the ongoing newfound dynamic he has with newly appointed captain Pat Cummins. The sudden shift in leadership came on the back of Tim Paine's resignation from the post due to an off-field scandal.
Cummins led Australia to a stellar start in the first Test. The pacer led from the front and registered a five-for on his captaincy debut as England were bowled out for a paltry 147.
Smith has now claimed that he assisted Cummins in terms of strategy and provided his inputs during the decision-making process. However, the ultimate decision will lie with the captain himself.
“We’re talking. Patty is making the decisions, but we’re talking and communicating. I get a point across and he makes a decision. There’s plenty of communication there,” Smith told Fox Cricket.
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins were the only candidates interviewed for the vacant captaincy spot. The five-member panel, who were in charge of the decision, opted to appoint Cummins as the nation's 47th Test skipper with Smith as his deputy.
Cummins had insisted for Smith to become the vice-captain
Cummins recently admitted that he vouched for Smith for the role of deputy gven the uncertainitites that a bowling captain could face. Smith, a former captain, has valuable captaincy experience across all formats of the game which Cummins feels could prove to be valuable in certain circumstances.
“There’s a couple more unknowns about having a bowling captain and that’s why I think from the outset I was absolutely determined to have somebody like Steve as vice next to me,” Cummins told reporters.
“There’s going to be times where I’m out in the middle, it’s a hot day, I’m in the middle of a spell, I need to turn to people for advice for tactics, for experience. That’s the main reason why I wanted Steve to be vice-captain.”
Steve Smith was eligible to hold a captaincy position within the team following the end of his leadership ban after the sandpaper scandal. Cummins will require Smith's keen expertise with England looking to claw their way back into the game.
At the time of writing, Joe Root and Dawid Malan (both on 66 not out) had stitched together a 124-run stand to reduce Australia's lead to 93 runs.