Domain Tests v Sri Lanka
Cummins hoses down Test captaincy talk
Fast bowler again dismisses suggestion he could be Australia's Test captain, but says a quick could do the job in the future
30 January 2019, 10:16 AM AEST
Pat Cummins has again poured cold water on the possibility of him one day becoming Australia’s Test captain, saying his workload is already too great to handle the extra pressure of leading the side.
With Josh Hazlewood (injured) and Mitchell Marsh (dropped) missing from the current Domain Test Series against Sri Lanka, Cummins was last week appointed joint vice-captain alongside Travis Head for the Gabba Test.
The elevation of Cummins to be one of Tim Paine’s deputies has brought into focus who would lead the Test side should Paine miss a match due to injury.
While Cummins says there’s no reason a fast bowler like Hazlewood couldn’t do the job in the future, he said the role is not for him.
“I think personally, I’d struggle trying to bowl and bat as well as lead the side,” he told SEN.
“But there’s definitely room for it (a fast bowler becoming captain).
“I feel like in every Test I play, I bowl my overs and I’m absolutely cooked and I go down to fine leg and try to recover. I’m not thinking about field placements or who should be bowling or anything like that.
“I’m not sure I’d make a great captain at the moment.”
The dearth of experienced players in the Australian Test side and the rapid rise of Cummins has seen the 25-year-old repeatedly bat away questions about his captaincy potential.
Earlier this month, former Test players Shane Warne and Geoff Lawson became the latest pundits to suggest Cummins could captain the Test side, a notion Cummins labelled “ridiculous”.
Speaking as early as May last year, he had ruled himself out of the vacant vice-captain’s role as Australia searched for new leaders following the suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner.
“First and foremost, I wouldn't want it to affect my cricket,” he told cricket.com.au.
"I don't have huge aspirations. I think if it came up and I was wanted then I'd think about it, but I reckon there's some better options in the team at the moment.
"We've got plenty of leaders around the group."
Ray Lindwall is the only frontline fast bowler to have captained Australia in Test cricket, acting as a stand-in skipper for one Test in 1956, while leg-spinning allrounder Richie Benaud led the side in 28 Tests in the 1950s and 1960s.
The role of captain in Test and one-day cricket has primarily been the domain of batsmen, but Cummins said there was no reason a quick could do the job, especially in the shorter formats.
“Historically it’s always been batsmen, but I think from a bowling point of view you do see a different side of the game,” he said.
“You have to out-think batters and those kinds of things.
“It comes down to who’s the most experienced in the squad and who can do the role. There’s no reason why you should discount bowlers.
“In the shorter forms, it’s a lot easier. You don’t get as cooked.
“It probably comes down to the personality. I think someone like Joshy Hazlewood would be really good. I don’t know why it always goes to the batsmen, to be honest.”
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
First Test: Australia won by an innings and 40 runs
Second Test: February 1-5, Canberra