Australia's newly-appointed Test captain Pat Cummins has credited former Indian seamer Zaheer Khan for motivating him by showing bowlers can lead well too. Pat Cummins recollected his stint with Delhi Daredevils under Zaheer Khan in IPL 2017 and stated he didn't see any drawbacks.
On Friday, Cricket Australia officially announced Pat Cummins as the nation's 47th Test captain. The 28-year old replaced keeper-batsman Tim Paine and will lead Australia in the upcoming Ashes series. However, there is a notion of whether Cummins, as a frontline bowler, can do the job.
Pat Cummins feels Zaheer Khan led the way, saying he did an incredible job and didn't see any struggle. The number one Test bowler credited Khan for helping him with field changes.
"I really liked his work tactically around T20s. He was just fantastic. Just someone great to bounce bowling ideas off and it was even better that he was at the top of my mark, you know, helping me set fields and tactics. I saw pretty clearly there the benefits of it. I didn't see too many drawbacks. It's a different format, but I thought he was fantastic," Cummins said, as quoted by Perth Now.
Cummins is notably the first frontline bowler to captain Australia since Ray Lindwall in 1956. However, the New South Wales bowler has zero international experience as skipper but served as Paine's deputy.
"I feel like I've got quite a lot of experience to draw on" - Pat Cummins
Cummins addressed Steve Smith's appointment as his deputy, saying he argued for it. The right-arm speedster expressed confidence in the experienced men around him and added:
"There's a couple of more unknowns about having a bowling captain. That's why from the outset I was absolutely determined if I was captain to have someone like Steve as vice-captain. I feel like I've got quite a lot of experience to draw on. A lot of the problems or potential issues around being a fast-bowling captain, I'm sure we'll be able to work through."
Smith's return to leadership duties drew mixed reactions as a few former cricketers believe that Cricket Australia should move past him. However, he is one of the most experienced and indispensable members of the batting unit.