Who could be Australia's next Test skipper?
With Steve Smith stepping aside as Australia captain following the ball tampering scandal, a captain-shaped void has been left in the squad. Smith is banned to play the fourth Test against SA. He could also face a one-year exile from national duty. The final verdict will come out tomorrow. In this light, here is the list of candidates that could take over the captaincy.
Mitchell Marsh presents a strong case
All-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been one of the in-form Aussie players since his return from injury during the 2017-18 Ashes. A real warrior in the line-up, Marsh gives the side an added impetus with both bat and ball. Experts see a lot of potential in the 26-year-old to become a successful skipper. He has led Western Australia in the past.
Tim Paine an immediate solution?
Wicket-keeper Tim Paine was chosen as the skipper once Smith stepped down on Day 3 of the third Test. He is likely to be given the skipper's role for the final match as well. But once the series gets over, the issue looms large. Is he just an immediate fix? Does he have the character to lead Australia in the long term?
Mitchell Starc is a valuable asset
Like Marsh, Mitchell Starc too embodies the future of Australian cricket. The 28-year-old is at the peak of his career and has the attributes of a real leader. Starc is a consistent performer and has 182 Test scalps in 43 matches. His role in winning games for his side has also helped him in gaining the respect of other players.
Some others who have a chance
The likes of senior players Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood could also give the trio mentioned above a real fight. The duo have been the torch bearers for Australian cricket in Tests and could stake a claim owing to their performances and experience.
Whom do we feel is the best bet?
Mitchell Marsh seems as the best bet for the Australian captaincy. He has time by his side and if the captaincy is handed to him now, this could help him grow as a cricketer. He has all the right qualities in him.