Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting opined that Steve Smith’s role as the vice-captain will be really important in managing captain Pat Cummins’ bowling.

Following Tim Paine’s shock resignation last week, Pat Cummins, on Friday, was announced as Australia’s 47th Test captain, with Steve Smith named as his deputy. Cummins, the world’s No.1 ranked Test bowler, becomes the first specialist fast bowler to be named Australia’s Test skipper since Ray Lindwall, who captained in a one-off Test in 1956.

Ricky Ponting pointed out that Cummins was Paine’s go-to bowler during the last home series against India. He asserted that now with the responsibilities of the captaincy duties as well, Smith, the vice-captain, will be needed to manage Cummins’ overs and make sure that he neither over bowls nor under bowls himself.

Pat Cummins, Steve Smith
Pat Cummins, Steve Smith. (Photo: ICC)

“There were times I reckon last summer when they just had to keep bowling Pat. In Sydney and Brisbane, there were long spells when he looked the most likely to get wickets,” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“The only concern I have is if it’s the same again, where Pat’s the standout fast bowler, is he going to keep bowling himself? Because the team is going to need it. Or will he be worried about what people are going to think if he just keeps himself on the whole time?

“That’s where vice captain’s role is really important in this whole thing, Because it might go the other way that he doesn’t bowl himself enough because he’s getting physically tired. But sometimes you need someone to push you or direct you, and that’s where I think the vice-captain is going to be important,” he added.

I’m not surprised they have given Smith the job: Ricky Ponting

Steve Smith is back in a leadership position for the first time since he was sacked amid the ball-tampering event three years ago in South Africa. He and David Warner served a one-year ban while a 9-month ban was handed to Cameron Bancroft.

While Warner is also banned from holding any leadership position in Australian cricket for lifetime, Smith was given an additional one-year suspension away from any captaincy role. Now, with that suspension also completed, Ricky Ponting says that he’s fine with Smith as the vice-captain.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

“We’ve all made mistakes. We all said at the time it was a severe penalty for all those guys – and it had to be, that’s the way it was at the time. But it’s a long time ago now.

“He’s played some great cricket since then and has not stepped a foot wrong with anything he’s done in his life since then. So as far as I’m concerned, if Cricket Australia think it’s okay, then I’m not surprised they have given him the job,” the World Cup winner stated.

Tim Paine has taken an indefinite break from all cricket and will miss the start of the Ashes. The first Test will commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

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