Pat Cummins has left little doubt that he can captain Australia while tending to his fast bowling duties.
The 28-year-old Cummins was handed the captaincy on the eve of the Ashes series after Tim Paine stepped away from cricket when a sexting scandal became public.
Six weeks later, Cummins finished as a 4-0 Ashes winner with a 146-run victory Sunday over England in Hobart and led the wicket tally with 21. That was despite missing one test at Adelaide for being a close contact of a person who had COVID-19.
Proof, at least in the short-term, that the extra responsibility as captain hasnt taken away from his bowling.
That was probably my biggest worry in accepting the role as captain, Cummins said. Im in the team as a bowler. I want to make sure thats protected and Im able to perform as well as Id like. I think with each game, I felt better at managing that. Cummins received help from former skipper and vice captain Steve Smith to set fields and said he was able to switch off as captain when bowling.
I could really . . . take off the captains hat and just be a bowler for my overs, he said. Even little things around bowling changes, setting fields in between overs. As I felt like I got better at managing that as the series went on.” Cummins next assignment as captain will come in March when Australia plays a three-test tour in Pakistan. He has said previously he doesnt see himself captaining for the remainder of his career.
For sure, theres more scrutiny. But in terms of the actual role on the field, and conversations around the change room and those kinds of things, it is manageable, he said after taking match figures of 7-87 at Bellerive Oval.
Its probably not as all-encompassing as I perhaps might have thought when I first took it on. But again, I think the biggest challenge is going to be ahead.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)