After Australia lost their second successive Test series to India at home earlier this year, calls have been growing to sack Tim Paine as Test captain.
According to Michael Clarke, Cummins is the right man for the job irrespective of the format. He was quoted as telling Big Sports Breakfast, as reported by Fox Sports:
"Just because Cummins isn't out there saying I should be the next captain and I'm ready... it doesn't mean he's not a good leader. I've made it clear what I think about Pat Cummins. I think he's shown he's fit and strong enough to play all three formats now, he's done that for the last few years. His captaincy I've watched tactically for New South Wales he's been pretty good.”
Michael Clarke further added that the pace bowler’s inexperience as leader should not be viewed as a hindrance. He pointed out that there are enough seniors in the team to guide Cummins.
"I do believe Pat Cummins is the right guy to take over the leadership in all three formats at the right time. You've got the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne. All these guys have got leadership experience as well. They can help Pat Cummins," Micheal Clarke explained.
Don't need to have the captain armband to be a leader: Michael Clarke on Steve Smith
Interestingly, amid the growing captaincy debate, Steve Smith threw his hat in the ring recently, admitting he hopes to lead the country once again. Quick to react, coach Justin Langer told the ABC that Australia have two good leaders in Paine (Tests) and Aaron Finch (limited-overs).
According to Michael Clarke, Smith doesn’t need to be appointed captain to play a leadership role. With his experience, he can offer a lot even as a senior cricketer.
"You don't necessarily need to have the captain or vice-captain armband to be a leader and I feel like I say that every single day. Smithy is going to play a huge role in the Australian team moving forward, whether he takes over the captaincy or not, his leadership is going to be important," Michael Clarke said.
"If Pat Cummins gets the job, that is the first guy I would be going to and speaking to. He's going to need his support. I think Australia does have options, they are in a wonderful place. They've just got to have the confidence to pick the right person, back him, and put some support around him," Michael Clarke added.
Smith and Cummins have been two of the star performers for Australia across formats in the last couple of years.