Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia’s 47th Test captain while Steve Smith has been named his deputy ahead of the home Ashes 2021/22 which starts on December 8 in Brisbane.
Pat Cummins has been named as the 47th captain of the Australia Test team on the day Tim Paine’s manager announced that the former skipper is stepping away from cricket for an “indefinite mental health break”
Pat Cummins Has Been Appointed As Australia’s 47th Test Skipper
Notably, Pat Cummins will become the first fast bowler to captain the Australian Test team in the last 65 years. Ray Lindwall’s temporary one-Test stint in India in 1956 makes him the only specialist fast bowler to lead Australia in the longest format of the game.
“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer,” Pat Cummins said in a statement.
“I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years. With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly-knit group. This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to.”
Pat Cummins has been a professional cricketer for over a decade and played 252 matches across all three formats, but the extent of his captaincy experience is just four 50-over Marsh Cup games for New South Wales last season.
Tim Paine Taking An Indefinite Mental Health Break
Tim Paine is stepping away from cricket for an “indefinite mental health break”, his manager said on Friday, leaving Australia’s Ashes preparations in disarray a week after the wicketkeeper’s resignation from the captaincy. Tim Paine was due to play for Tasmania in a domestic one-day match in Hobart on Friday in the lead-up to the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Dec. 8, but will be unavailable for the “foreseeable future”, the state’s cricket association said.
“Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break,” Paine’s manager James Henderson wrote in a social media post.
“We are extremely concerned for his and (wife) Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time.”
Speculation over Tim Paine’s place in the test team has been rife since his resignation over revelations that he was investigated for sending sexually explicit text messages to a female former Cricket Tasmania (CT) staffer four years ago. Steve Smith returned to a leadership role for the first time since the Sandpaper Gate in 2018. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.