After being unveiled as NSW’s one-day skipper, Pat Cummins threw a curveball into the Test captaincy debate.
Pat Cummins has made the surprising admission that he is “not too sure” whether he actually wants to captain Australia.
Cummins is Australia’s Test vice-captain behind Tim Paine and was unveiled as New South Wales’ one-day skipper on Wednesday.
It will be a trial of real importance both for Cummins and Cricket Australia’s brains trust as they mull over the options to be Paine’s successor.
The star fast bowler hasn’t regularly captained a team since the under-16s and gave an honest assessment of his mindset and readiness in an interview with Wide World of Sports Radio.
“Mate, to be honest I’m not too sure,” Cummins replied when asked by Mark Levy if he’d eventually be a willing successor to the 36-year-old Paine.
“I really haven’t had any captaincy experience, so the simple question of whether I’m any good at it, or whether I enjoy it, or whether it affects my bowling… will be answered over the next few weeks.”
Cummins spoke earlier in the day to a group of reporters and was careful not to rock the boat by jokingly backing Paine to play until he’s “45.”
Not surprisingly he pushed back at Mark Taylor’s view that fast bowlers weren’t well suited to the demands of captaincy.
“I don’t think just because you’re automatically a bowler or a wicketkeeper rules you out of captaincy,” Cummins said.
“No doubt there is a few more challenges about being a bowler, but also it brings some opportunities.
“You hope that our skill is trying to get wickets as a bowler and that’s a lot of the time what you’re trying to do as a captain out in the field.
“Managing the workload, that’s something I’m going to have to see how it goes in these next few games… but I’m not too sure about longer form stuff.”
Cummins admitted that there were some practical challenges to a quick running the show.
“I think the obvious one as a fast bowler is if it’s a really hot day and you’re trying to bowl flat out all day,” he said.
“It’s just making sure the game doesn’t meander on in those moments when you’re trying to catch your breath.”
Cummins also had some interesting thoughts on some Australia’s greatest cricket brains, past and present.
“Steve Waugh was over there in the Ashes and I loved how simple he kept things,” Cummins said.
“We all love cricket and talk about cricket and really quickly you try to get into the minutiae of it whereas I love how he just takes a step back and keeps it simple.
“Ricky Ponting – just his love of the game and how he played 160-odd Tests and still just looked like he was up for every moment and loves it.
“Painey – I love how he manages people.
“Steve [Smith] is always thinking about the game.
“Even [Michael] Clarkey I felt a million bucks when he used to give me the ball in my debut game.
“You pick out little bits from each captain but the main thing for me you want to have great relationships, have a bit of fun and always try and think of things.”