Australian pacer Pat Cummins has been named the new captain of the Test side after Tim Paine's unexpected exit earlier today. The 28-year-old will be the 47th skipper to lead the Australian men's side in the longer format.
It has been 65 years since a fast bowler last led the Aussies in Test matches. Ray Lindwall was named as the stand-in captain for the Mumbai Test during the side's tour of India after regular captain Ian Johnson was ruled out with an injury.
However, the bowler got only a single opportunity to be at the helm of the national side. Cummins on Friday became the first pace bowler to be named captain since Lindwall's short reign.
While the right-armer will lead the team for their impending Ashes assignment against arch-rivals England, ex-skipper Steve Smith will serve as his deputy.
When it comes to white-ball cricket, star leg-spinner Shane Warne captained the side between 1998 and 1999. Notably, he has a fantastic win percentage of 90.91% as skipper in ODIs. He led Australia in 11 50-over matches, in which they ended up on the losing side only on a single occasion.
Tim Paine takes an indefinite break from cricket
The 36-year old wicketkeeper-batsman has decided to step away from the sport for the 'foreseeable future' amidst off-field controversy. Cricket Tasmania confirmed Paine's decision in their official statement:
"Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future. Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer,"
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Cricketing giants Australia and England are all set to play their Test series opener on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane. Paine had earlier expressed his desire to continue as a player with the Aussie side after relinquishing the captaincy. However, his participation in the Ashes now seems highly unlikely following recent developments.
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