Pat Cummins confirmed as Australia’s new test captain

Pat Cummins was named Australia’s new men’s testing captain on the day it emerged that Tim Paine’s international career may have come to an end a week after his resignation following the emergence of explicit text messages.

Steven Smith returned to his first official leadership role with the national team since the ball tampering scandal by assuming the post of vice-captain. This puts him an injury away from the captain of the test team.

Cummins, who was interviewed for the top job with former Captain Smith, was approved by the AC board on Thursday evening after the recommendation of a five-person panel made up of President Richard Freudenstein, general manager Nick Hockley, manager Mel Jones and selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide.

“I am honored to take on this role ahead of what will be a massive summer to the ashes. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim [Paine] has given to the squad over the past few years, “said Cummins.” With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players on this squad and some great young talent coming in, we’re a strong, tight-knit squad.

“It is an unexpected privilege for which I am very grateful and look forward to.”

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Cummins was nominated as a potential future captain for a number of years, but was overlooked for a vice captain position in 2018 before being elevated to a shared role in 2019, and then as a single understudy in 2020.

“Pat is an exceptional player and leader. He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the pitch,” Hockley said. . “We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who are superb leaders themselves. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles.”

His only experience as a professional captain has been with New South Wales for a day last season when he led them in four games in what has become a winning campaign, despite having missed the final because of the IPL.

When NSW gave him the job, it was with the view that he would become captain of Australia at some point, fearing that candidates for the post would not have enough opportunities at the state level.

This will be a step into the unknown for Australian cricket, as the men’s team has not been led by a fast bowler since Ray Lindwall did so on a unique occasion in 1956.

Given the constraints of fast bowling, there’s a good chance Smith will pick up the helmet at some point during his tenure.

“I am delighted to be back in charge of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can,” said Smith. “Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know each other well.”

Initially, the timeline for Paine’s transition to a new captain could have been foreseen after the ashes, but the events of the last week pushed the process forward quickly, although CA said it would be a process. rigorous with extensive background checks of applicants.

Being an integral part of all three formats, Cummins was already a huge burden, although his durability as a fast launcher has been exceptional since his return in 2017. He has only missed two of the last 35 Australian tests, although they did not. ‘played only nine. matches since the tour of England 2019 due to postponements of Covid-19.

Cummins is currently part of the Australian T20 World Cup and the Australian contingent A still in quarantine on the Gold Coast. When they emerge next week, there will be a short and intense introduction to the Ashes, with Cummins quickly having to grasp the various requirements of being Australia captain before stepping out to flip the coin with Joe Root at the Gabba on December 8th.

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Andrew McGlashan is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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