"It's going to be a real collaborative approach" - Pat Cummins on his leadership outlook 

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith are the new leadership stalwarts of Australian Test cricket
Pat Cummins and Steve Smith are the new leadership stalwarts of Australian Test cricket

Newly appointed Australian Test team captain Pat Cummins has shed light on his leadership style ahead of the upcoming Ashes. The pacer will take over from Tim Paine as skipper after the latter resigned from his post following an off-field scandal.

Cummins will be the first fast bowler to lead the team since 1957. He was named vice-captain of the side along with Travis Head in 2019, before being promoted as the sole deputy the very next year. Speaking to the media after being named Australia's captain, Cummins said:

"I'm naturally quite a calm person. I'm quite positive. I'll be leaning on everyone. I'm a big one for empowering individuals to own their role. It's going to be a real collaborative approach (to leadership). It might look a bit different from the outside compared to captain's of the past, which is great."

Appointing a pacer as captain has come with its own set of concerns. Given the length of the tour, squad rotation will be necessary to manage workloads. But Cummins maintained that he won't miss a game unless he absolutely has to. He added:

"I very much doubt that I will rest from Test cricket. I have never rested from a game of Test cricket before, so I doubt that will start now."

The 28-year-old will lead the Australian team for the first time in the first Test of the Ashes in Brisbane on December 8.

To be standing here next to Pat Cummins with a formal title, I feel very honoured: Steve Smith

The promotion of Pat Cummins as the captain of the Test team has led Cricket Australia to name a new vice-captain as well. Steve Smith was appointed as Cummins' deputy after being interviewed by a five-member panel. Speaking on his return to a leadership role, Smith said:

"I've been in a position for the last few years playing as a leader. Now to have the opportunity to be standing here next to Patrick with a formal title, I feel very honoured."

The former Australia skipper also noted the threat that England pose, calling them a well rounded side with a very strong squad. The visitors are looking to overturn their dismal record Down Under over the last decade. They last won the Ashes on foreign soil in 2010.

The England team have been bolstered by the return of Ben Stokes. The all-rounder announced his intention to return for the Ashes after having skipped the home series against India and the T20 World Cup to focus on his mental health.

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Edited by Shourjo Chatterjee
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