Pat Cummins says there’s no reason why a fast bowler can’t captain Australia, after former skipper Michael Clarke anointed the speedster as Tim Paine’s eventual replacement.
Cummins became Australia’s sole vice-captain this summer, after previously sharing the role with Travis Head, prompting speculation that he was next in line for the role.
Former captain Mark Taylor has previously told Wide World of Sports that, everything being equal, a batsman would be preferable to a bowler as captain.
That’s not a view shared by Clarke.
“Wasim Akram and Imran Khan did okay,” Clarke told Wide World of Sports in an interview made possible by Hublot.
“To me I think the reason why people have said in the past it’s hard for a bowler to captain is because of injuries, but if you look right now Pat Cummins is being rested and David Warner is injured.
“We all get injured. Batters miss games and bowlers miss games, particularly with three different formats and how much cricket we’re playing at the moment, so I don’t think that’s a deciding factor.”
Wasim captained Pakistan in 25 Tests, winning nearly half of those, while Imran was in charge for 48 matches. South Africa’s Shaun Pollock is another fast-bowler who captained on a long-term basis.
Clarke believes Cummins’ lack of captaincy experience isn’t a problem.
“I think he’d make a really good tactician as a captain. I didn’t captain too much before I captained Australia; I think the under-19s was the last time I had captained before I was given the opportunity to captain Australia,” he said.
“I think the fact he’s now vice-captain he’ll be thinking like a captain, which will do him the world of good in preparation for if he does one day become captain.”
Asked by Wide World of Sports if bowlers can make successful captains, Cummins was in no doubt.
“Speaking to a few people, they think that of all the formats, potentially Tests are the easiest for a bowler to captain,” he said.
“Obviously you’re busy and you’re putting a lot of effort into bowling, but there’s a bit more time that’s afforded to you, the game moves at a slightly softer pace.
“I know there haven’t been too many bowling captains, but I don’t understand why it has to be a batter.”
But Cummins was quick to concede that a move into Australian cricket’s top job isn’t on the agenda just yet, with both Paine and Aaron Finch firmly ensconced in the roles.
“I loved him (Clarke) as captain when I played,” Cummins said.
“I felt like he made me walk taller in my early years when I was still trying to find my feet playing for Australia.
“Having an ex-captain who has been there and done that is a vote of confidence.
“That’s nice, but it means absolutely nothing because we’ve got some great captains at the moment.”
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