Michael Clarke and Pat Cummins in Rose Bay with luxury watch brand Hublot. Picture: Christian Gilles
Michael Clarke and Pat Cummins in Rose Bay with luxury watch brand Hublot. Picture: Christian Gilles

Cummins: I wouldn’t turn down Test captaincy

Pat Cummins' stint as vice-captain has ignited a dream of one day succeeding Tim Paine as Australia's long-term Test captain.

And he's got good backing with former skipper Michael Clarke who declared Cummins has the "cricket smarts" to take the top job.

Cummins, 26, was appointed vice-captain alongside Travis Head in January and looms as a strong option to replace Tim Paine once the 34-year-old Tasmania finishes in the job.

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Michael Clarke and Pat Cummins in Rose Bay with luxury watch brand Hublot. Picture: Christian Gilles
Michael Clarke and Pat Cummins in Rose Bay with luxury watch brand Hublot. Picture: Christian Gilles

"Recently being vice-captain feeling like I've played a bit more cricket and as one of the more experienced guys on the team, it is something that has definitely come on the radar and something I have thought about a little bit more," Cummins told The Daily Telegraph.

"We will see. The good thing at the moment is we've got Tim Paine doing a great job, hopefully he will play for a lot longer.

"We've also got about four or five other guys around the side who have either captained Australia or their state so it is in good hands so we will see what happens."

Asked what he would say if he was offered the captaincy, the fast bowler said it would be too big an honour to turn down.

 

 

"I don't think you could say no to a job like that," Cummins said.

"What an honour it would be. It would be pretty clear that if it was to come up, I wouldn't be the finished product straight away and I'd need some good people around. Whether it is me or someone else, anyone starting out doesn't know the full job until you are thrown into the deep end a bit."

Richie Benaud was the last frontline bowler to be a long-term captain.

Cummins admits he wouldn't have been ready to take on the job until now.

"I definitely feel better equipped if it came up now than I would have a couple of years ago. My first couple of seasons here in Australia, I felt like most days I was bowling, I'd bowl 40 overs for a game and it would be 40 degree heat and I would be absolutely cooked.

"Now I think I have a bit more capacity not only just bowling but also being more aware of what is going on around."

 

Will Pat Cummins put his hand up to lead the Test side? Picture: AAP/Darren England
Will Pat Cummins put his hand up to lead the Test side? Picture: AAP/Darren England

 

Cummins and Clarke enjoyed a brief fun game on a barge on Sydney Harbour in Rose Bay as luxury watch brand Hublot celebrated the start of summer.

"Timewise Pat is ready now," Clarke said.

"He knows his game so well, he has played for long enough, his body is fit, healthy and strong, he is at an age where he can stay on the field for as long as required and he showed that through the Ashes series.

"I don't mean any disrespect to anybody else that could captain Australia, I just think that once Tim's (Paine) time is up, that will be prime time for Patty to take over.

"Pat's cricket smarts are very clear, anybody that bats, bowls and fields the way he does, you can see the talent in his skill. But I think it is more than that.

 

Travis Head and Pat Cummins are Tim paine’s current deputies. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty
Travis Head and Pat Cummins are Tim paine’s current deputies. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty

 

"From the day I played my first game with him, the way he sees and reads the game, a lot of players will watch a batsman bat or watch a bowler bowl but I think the better tacticians watch the entire game and I get a real sense that Patty certainly does that."

Clarke indicated Cummins could draw on the support of senior players like Steve Smith, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for guidance if he were to take on the top job.

"The fact there are other senior players around Pat at the moment, they will be great allies for him," he said.

"That is what makes a great team, where you've got a number of different people that are leaders in the team that don't necessarily have the C or the VC next to their name."

As for what sort of captain he would be, Cummins said he would "hopefully not change too much".

"It is continual learning, you've just always got to evolve otherwise you get left behind."

News Corp Australia


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