'He has shown he's ready': Michael Clarke names player who can replace Tim Paine as Australia captain
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke believes that the team management need to make quick decisions on who they see leading the teams across formats in the near future. Australia Test captain Tim Paine's leadership has come under major scrutiny since the series loss against India. Australia's limited-overs captain Aaron Finch's poor run in Big Bash League has also raised questions on him leading the team in the T20 World Cup this year.
Speaking on Sky Sports Radio, Clarke said that if Australia do not wish to continue with Paine as captain in the Ashes this year, then they need to make the switch immediately before the South Africa tour. He also added that if the selectors do not wish for Finch to lead the Australian team in the T20 World Cup, they need to let him go immediately.
“They’ve got to make a decision based on timing, for both formats. Australia go to South Africa for a Test series, then they come back, and we’ve got the Ashes next. For mine, if Tim Paine is going to be the captain during the Ashes, stick with him. If he’s not, he’s got to go now because you’ve got to give the new captain the opportunity in that format before an Ashes series. Way too big a series to walk in and make your debut as a captain. Too big. [If Paine goes to South Africa], he’s got to be a part of the Ashes series," Clarke said.
“I say the same thing in the Twenty20s as well. If Aaron Finch is going to captain the T20 World Cup, keep him as captain now. If he’s not, he’s got to go now, so the new captain has the opportunity to get some leadership under his belt before he goes to India for a World Cup. The timing is very important right now for Australian cricket," he added.
Naming his pick on who can lead Australia across all three formats, Clarke picked fast bowler Pat Cummins.
"They’ve got to make a call: are we sticking with what we have or are we making that change? If they decide to make the change, my opinion is Pat Cummins can captain all three formats,” he said.
“Pat Cummins just showed us he’s ready. Whatever you throw at this Australian team and at Pat Cummins, he’s ready. He’s shown his character; the man of the series in a series that you just got beaten by, at one stage, India’s second-string team. Pat Cummins, he is the one player that did stand up for Australia, so I think we very clearly got a good glimpse at the type of character Pat Cummins is," Clarke said.
“If they’re going to go the way [where] Tim Paine’s time is up, we’re bringing in a few new, younger players, then I’m cool with that, but Pat Cummins is the leader. Pat Cummins is that captain," he signed off.
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