Former Australian cricketer Michael Clarke feels Pat Cummins should take over the captaincy of the Test team despite his inexperience with respect to leadership. Cummins is a prime candidate to lead Australia in the Ashes after Tim Paine decided to step down from the post.
Should Cummins be elected captain, he will only be the third player after Michael Clarke and Greg Chappell to lead Australia without doing so in the Sheffield Shield. Clarke, however, noted that with so much seniority in the team at the moment, this marks the perfect time to pass the leadership baton over to Cummins.
While speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, he said:
“But with so much seniority in the team, I think it is the right time for him. Because they can help him. Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood. These guys have played a truckload of Test cricket. They can be there to help him, with or without the C or VC next to his name.”
Cummins' teammate Travis Head also backed him to be the team's next Test captain. Cricket Australia announced earlier that they have begun the accelerated process of selecting the next Test captain, but they have not reached a conclusion as of yet.
"He’s a cricket captain" - Michael Clarke on Australian pacer Pat Cummins
Michael Clarke is a huge advocate for Cummins, having touted him as a future leader of the team back in 2018 itself. Clarke noted that the way Cummins talks to his fellow players and sets the field is the mark of a captain.
The former Australian captain said:
“You have to allow him time to get into this job. Because he hasn’t had 10 years of captain first-grade or state cricket. But sometimes you can see certain things in people, and I think he’s got it. He reads the game. He’s a cricket captain. Looking at on the field tactics. The way he talks to his players. The way he sets the field when he bowls.”
Cricket Australia have already hinted at the prospect of player rotation in the Ashes, with fast bowlers being the prime focus of the initiative. Apart from the appointment of the captain, the call to select a vice-captain would be equally crucial as Cummins could possibly miss out on a Test or two.
Steve Smith is a potential option after his ban on leadership roles was lifted. Another option lies in the form of Marnus Labuschagne, but the batsman is yet to collect leadership experience.
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