Gilly’s bold choice for Paine’s successor as Test captain

Gilly’s bold choice for Paine’s successor as Test captain

Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist has revealed his pick for Tim Paine’s eventual successor, and it’s one that goes back 65 years of history.

Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist believes Pat Cummins would be the perfect successor to Tim Paine as Australia’s next test captain.

With Paine’s neck surgery putting him at risk of possibly missing out on part of the upcoming Ashes series on home soil, it could open the door for someone to stake their claim as the next national team captain.

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Gilchrist, who has been a regular vice-captain of the Australian Test and ODI teams throughout his stellar career, felt Cummins was in a league of his own compared to his test mates.

“Pat Cummins is literally the type of leader who admires Australian cricket, recognizes and respects the players,” Gilchrist told SEN.

“I think he is the leader by being at the top of the pack to take that position.

“Whether it’s the first Test at the Gabba, the first Test next summer or when the next Test cricket is after this summer, when Tim Paine is done.

“It’s inevitably getting closer, the changing of the guard at the top, and I think Pat is the gentleman highest positioned to take over.”

Cummins became Vice-Captain of the Australian Test and ODI team in 2019 and 2020 respectively, so he already has experience in that area.

However, fast bowlers are not historically associated with the Australian captaincy. In fact, in 1956, Ray Lindwall was the last pace bowler to also serve as captain.

Recent captains have been a mix of wicketkeepers and batsmen, but according to Gilchrist, history should have no bearing on whether Cummins would be suitable for the role.

“For any particular individual, I don’t think anyone should be pigeonholed,” Gilchrist said.

“For me personally, I don’t think I would have made a big fist as a full-time captain.

“Personally, I found it challenging to focus on everything you have and lead the team on a regular basis.

“It was a fun experience every now and then to do it, and it was great to be a vice captain to share your experience or opinion.

“But Tim Paine did a great job, MS Dhoni was excellent, as was Andy Flower in Zimbabwe.

“There are a few instances where you’re an exception, and Pat Cummins has to take that into account.

“He is balanced enough, professional enough and skilled enough.

“I don’t think Pat should be pigeonholed just because he’s a fast bowler.”

Cummins made his test debut in 2011 against South Africa, playing in over 30 test series for Australia.

He will further cement his reputation as one of the best in the world with ball in hand when the Ashes begin the First Test on December 8.

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