Cummins should lead Australia across formats, feels Michael Clarke
Former Australian batsman Michael Clarke feels fast bowler Pat Cummins is an ideal candidate to lead Aussies in all three formats of the game. He believes the incumbent Australian captain Tim Paine has been leading the team well after taking over the reins from Steve Smith in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal. However, Clarke asserted that Cummins should take over once Paine retires.
Clarke heaps praise on Cummins
"Cummins reads the game really well. Yes, he's an opening bowler, but he can bat. He's brilliant in the field. He sees the game how a captain needs to. Pat has shown that he's fit, he's healthy, he can play all three formats," Clarke said.
Cummins has been a versatile bowler for Australia
The number one Test bowler Pat Cummins has been phenomenal for Australia across formats since 2019. He has over 100 wickets to his name in ODIs and Tests and averages 19.86 in T20Is. He snapped up 59 wickets from 12 Tests at an average of 20.13 in 2019. Clarke's statement comes less than a month before Smith will become eligible again to lead Australia.
Paine has fared well as a captain
Under Paine, Australia have won 10 out of 19 Tests, having lost 6 and drawn 3. He was under the scanner as a captain after Australia lost the Test series 1-2 to India. But the return of Steve Smith and David Warner made a massive turnaround in 2019. They have won their last five Tests (2 vs Pakistan, 3 vs Kiwis) with huge margins.
Smith not the right man to lead Australia: Clarke
Smith had a miraculous Ashes campaign last year, having scored a record 774 runs at 110.57. Nonetheless, Clarke feels Smith may be Australia's best batsman, but he is not the right man to lead them. "I think the best captain needs to be the captain. Smith is Australia's best batsman, but I don't think he is the right man to lead Australia," Clarke said.
The infamous incident in South Africa made headlines
During the third Test against South Africa in March 2018, Cameron Bancroft's attempt to rough up the ball with sandpaper for garnering reverse swing was caught on television. Former Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were handed a one-year suspension from all forms of cricket, while Bancroft was banned for nine months. Smith was barred from captaincy for two years by Cricket Australia.