A seven-game winning streak to charge into the World Cup semi-final has Pat Cummins considering staying on as ODI captain, while also eyeing off next year's T20 World Cup
Cummins flags ODI captaincy extension, IPL return
Pat Cummins is open to staying on as Australia's ODI captain after this World Cup, as the fast bowler confirmed he will declare for the Indian Premier League auction in a bid to recapture his best T20 form.
Cummins' appointment as 50-over skipper was made with the ongoing World Cup in India both the overriding priority and possible end point for his tenure after the sudden retirement of Aaron Finch last year.
Overseeing seven consecutive wins after a rocky start to the Aussies' tilt at a sixth men's ODI title has set up a semi-final against South Africa in Kolkata on Thursday and helped mount a strong case for him to remain in the role.
The fast bowler's overall workload across all three formats – in addition to his role as Test leader, he has also expressed his desire to show he remains in Australia's best side for next year's T20 World Cup by playing in the IPL – will also be a consideration.
Several of his teammates have conceded this ODI World Cup will be their last, but Cummins will only be 34 when the next one is played in 2027 with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia as hosts, and he could conceivably take the reins again.
Asked if he could stay on as ODI captain after this tournament, Cummins told reporters: "Potentially, yeah. We'll chat about it," adding that coach Andrew McDonald and selection chief George Bailey would make the call.
"We've been pretty open, me and Andrew and George around different times in the year you're going to have different priorities," said Cummins.
"This is a bit of a one-off year where there's three or four big off-season events. After here the focus shifts back to Test cricket for a fair while. Probably like we've done in the past, at times white-ball cricket is going to have to shift (as a priority) so we fully focus on Test cricket.
"There's no end date in sight.
"I feel like I've been managed really well and looked after in a really, really busy year where you don't really want to give up any cricket."
After a block of seven Tests – three against Pakistan and two against West Indies at home followed by a two more away in New Zealand – Australia's major off-season focus next year will be another ICC white-ball event.
Under Finch on home soil last year, the Aussies had a disappointing defence of the T20 title they won in the UAE in 2021. There will be an expanded pool of 20 teams at the tournament's next edition in the Caribbean and USA in June.
Cummins pulled out of his A$1.34 million IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this year, citing a 2023 schedule that has included an India Test tour, the World Test Championship final, the Ashes and now an ODI World Cup.
But a healthy contingent of Australians, including Cummins, are set to nominate for the upcoming auction ahead of the 2024 IPL.
The paceman commanded more than A$3m in 2019 and could fetch big bucks again at a so-called 'mini-auction' to be held in December.
Playing in the world's foremost domestic T20 league is viewed as ideal preparation for the World Cup that is expected to begin only days after the IPL final, particularly for Cummins who admits his T20 form has slipped in recent times.
"I feel like I haven’t played a heap of T20 cricket and in some ways I feel like I haven’t played my best T20 cricket for a little while," he said.
"I'm really excited, I'm probably going to go into the IPL auction for next year to try to get some games before that World Cup and push a case to not only make the side but get back to how I feel like I can bowl in T20 cricket."
Captaining Australia at the T20 World Cup might be a bridge too far, though. Mitch Marsh appears the frontrunner after impressing in the role during the recent South Africa series.
"Hopefully playing in it. Captaining, I don't really know," Cummins said of the T20 World Cup. "Marshy did a fantastic job in South Africa, so we'll wait and see."
Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures
October 8: Lost to India by six wickets
October 12: Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
October 16: Beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
October 20: Beat Pakistan by 62 runs
October 25: Beat Netherlands by 309 runs
October 28: Beat New Zealand by five runs
November 4: Beat England by 33 runs
November 7: Beat Afghanistan by three wickets
November 11: Beat Bangladesh by eight wickets
November 19: Final, Ahmedabad (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa