Thinking cricketer Pat Cummins ready for captaincy – James Anderson

Test cricket
Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins has the credentials to become Australia’s new captain, according to England’s greatest wicket-taker James Anderson.

Whilst Anderson has not captained England in any of his 379 international appearances during a career spanning nearly two decades, he argues that cricket has evolved over the years and the captain does not necessarily have to stand next to the wicket-keeper in the slip cordon.

This was after Tim Paine abruptly resigned the captaincy of the Australians over his involvement in a sexting scandal.

Anderson acknowledged that there are different challenges a fast-bowling captain faces. Particularly when it comes to balancing the physical aspect of bowling with the mental challenges leadership represent.

However, the 39-year-old Anderson is of the opinion Cummins has already established himself as one of the leaders in the current Australian squad, and would be a good fit for the role.

“I think more bowlers should be captain,” Anderson said.

Off-field challenges different for bowlers

“The only issue then is trying to get the time off – when you’re off the field, you want to switch off, whereas if you’re captain you’ve got to watch the game and be in it and you can’t switch off maybe as much.

“Bowlers do think a lot about the game, we are thinking cricketers now. I think he’d be good at it, you can see he leads brilliantly in the team, he’s a leader of the bowling attack and you can see he’s got that ability, so why not give him a chance.

“There’s lots of arguments why it would suit to have a bowler as captain, but it’s just not the done thing is it. Captains like to look good at first slip and look like they’re making all the field-position changes and doing all the good stuff. But I’m all for it.”

The process of appointing Paine’s successor has already begun by the Cricket Australia board, although an informal discussion between the selectors and CA is normally enough to find a suitable candidate for the role of captain and vice-captain.

With few other excellent candidates available, Cummins is almost a shoo-in for the role.

Should he be appointed, Cummins is expected to lean heavily on the other experienced members of the squad, which includes former captain Steve Smith, who was removed from the captaincy over a controversy of his own involving spot-fixing.

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