Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believes that champion fast bowler Pat Cummins is the best possible option to lead Australia as and when the position becomes available.
Ever since Australia lost the Test series against India back in January, there have been calls for the removal of Tim Paine from the leadership role by a section of Aussie fans.
The discussion around who should lead Australia after Tim Paine and Aaron Finch walk in the sunset has intensified even more in the past few days after former captain Steve Smith made his aspirations of once again leading the national team public.
However, Michael Clarke believes that it is Pat Cummins who should be leading the Aussies across all three formats. The 2015 World Cup-winning skipper further added that he has been impressed with Cummins’ tactical skills during his New South Wales captaincy stint in the ongoing Shield season.
“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. 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,” Michael Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast, as reported by Fox Sports.
Clarke admitted that Pat Cummins is an inexperienced leader but he also alluded to the fact that the fast bowler will be aided by the presence of so many experienced campaigners like Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon, David Warner around him.
He also reckoned that if Pat Cummins is picked as captain, then he would need a good vice-captain and someone like Alex Carey, who has had leadership experience in domestic cricket will be a great choice.
“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 added.
On Steve Smith expressing his desire to lead the Australian team again, Michael Clarke said that while the former skipper will play a huge role in taking the team forward, he doesn’t need to be a captain or vice-captain to be a leader.
“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 Michael 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.