Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Captaincy will be a collaborative approach with Smith - Cummins. We'll nut out how exactly that works, but it will be a real collaborative approach: Cummins
We'll nut out how exactly that works, but it will be a real collaborative approach: Cummins
As the first paceman to handle full-time captaincy of the Australia team, Pat Cummins revealed his methods would appear different to the past captains as he gets ready to take charge as the 47th Test skipper of the team in the upcoming Ashes series. One of those would be to involve his deputy Steve Smith in a more hands-on approach on the field, be it doing changes on the field or making bowling changes.
“It might look a little bit different from the outside potentially to other captains in the past. There's going to be times where I'm out in the middle, it's a hot day, I'm in the middle of a (bowling) spell and I need to turn to people for advice for tactics, for experience, and that's one of the big reasons I wanted Steve to be vice-captain,” Cummins said in his first media briefing after being appointed captain of the Test side. “There will be times on the field when I throw to Steve, and you'll see Steve moving fielders around, maybe doing bowling changes and taking a bit more of an elevated vice-captaincy and that's what I really want. That's what I've asked for, and I'm really glad Steve is happy with that as well.
“Steve's got such huge strengths, especially around tactically out on the field and sees it differently from first slip, huge experience with spinners, bowling changes and mapping out a game so I'll be leaning on him hugely for that. We'll nut out how exactly that works, but it will be a real collaborative approach.”
Following Paine's decision to relinquish captaincy in the wake of a sexting scandal, Cummins and Smith were proposed as captaincy candidates by a three-member selection panel of selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, and men's team head coach Justin Langer. A five-member panel, which included interim chair of Cricket Australia Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley, held interviews with the two cricketers before arriving at the decision to make Cummins the Test captain.
Smith, the former captain, was banned from holding any leadership role for two years in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering controversy in 2018. But Cummins insisted that Smith's involvement in a leadership capacity was crucial, which he also made clear during the interviews.
“It's obviously not our decision who's captain and who's vice-captain,” Cummins said. “I made it pretty clear if I was given the captaincy that this is how I saw the team running and tried to bring Steve along for that as well because he's so central to how I see my captaincy style and how I see the team functioning.
“We both got a chance to think quite a lot about it over the last few days before we presented to a couple of board members and selectors, and that was after chatting between us two as well. I could not think of a better bloke, and a bloke that gives you more comfort if I was to be injured or miss a game. Steve could take right over and it would be seamless,” said the Test skipper.
Smith, meanwhile, said he has become a “better leader” and a “more rounded individual having learnt from his past mistakes. Although he admits that not everyone will be pleased with his re-insertion in a leadership role, Smith said he is looking forward to a successful partnership with Cummins.
“I'm completely guided by Patrick and whatever he needs out on the field, that's my job. If there's times where Patrick hands me and wants me to take over and do some different things on the field, I'm there for that. We've known each other a long time, we're close friends and this could be a really great partnership, and hopefully one that will be successful, and one Australia can be proud of.
“I think there will be some negativity from some people, and I understand that, and I get that, but for me I know I've grown a great deal over the last three or four years. I'm a more rounded individual, and I think it's turned me into a better leader and I'm excited to be in this position.”