'Just because he doesn't say it, doesn't mean he isn't ready': Clarke wants Pat Cummins to be named Australia captain
With Tim Paine’s drastic dip in form in Test cricket and two T20 World Cups in two years lined up, discussion around the next Australian cricket team captain has once again gathered steam. That Steve Smith has expressed his eagerness to reclaim his position as the leader of the Australian side across formats, has made matters more interesting.
Australia’s 2015 World Cup-winning captain Michael Clarke, however, feels fast bowler Pat Cummins is the ideal candidate to lead Australia in all three formats. Clarke said just because Cummins doesn’t come out in public to express his desires of captaining Australia doesn’t mean he is not ready to take up the responsibility.
"Just because Cummins isn't out there saying I should be the next captain and I'm ready... it doesn't mean he's not a good leader,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast, as reported by Fox Sports.
Clarke said he has seen Cummins lead New South Wales well and believes the big fast bowler is fit enough to play all three formats regularly for Australia.
“I've made it clear what I think about Pat Cummins. I think he's shown he's fit and strong enough to play all three formats now, he's done that for the last few years. His captaincy I've watched tactically for New South Wales he's been pretty good," he added.
The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon can lay their helping hands to Cummins, believes Clarke.
"Yes he's young and inexperienced as a leader but he'll have good senior players around him so to me I do believe Pat Cummins is the right guy to take over the leadership in all three formats at the right time. Of course, he will need a good vice-captain. An example of that - if Tim Paine retires then someone like Alex Carey comes in, who has captained South Australia, captained the BBL, been vice-captain of Australia. I think he would make a very good vice-captain. You've got the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne. All these guys have got leadership experience as well. They can help Pat Cummins," he said.
On Monday, former Australia skipper Steve Smith also talked about how he wants to lead the national side once again. Smith was removed as the captain once he confirmed his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.
"You don't necessarily need to have the captain or vice-captain armband to be a leader and I feel like I say that every single day. Smithy is going to play a huge role in the Australian team moving forward, whether he takes over the captaincy or not, his leadership is going to be important," said Clarke.
"If Pat Cummins gets the job, that is the first guy I would be going to and speaking to. He's going to need his support. I think Australia does have options, they are in a wonderful place. They've just got to have the confidence to pick the right person, back him, and put some support around him," he added.
Hours after former Australia skipper Smith spoke about being open to leading the national team if the opportunity does present itself in the future, coach Justin Langer had said the unit is in good hands with Tim Paine (Test captain) and Aaron Finch (white-ball captain).
"We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up -- an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good," Langer told the ABC, as reported by Fox Sports.
"Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available," he added.
Smith and Cummins will be seen in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Cummins will play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while Smith will represent Delhi Capitals.
(With ANI inputs)