Brett Lee chooses Steve Smith over Pat Cummins
Brett Lee would make Steve Smith Australia’s test captain for the Ashes again, saying the role is “too difficult” for a fast bowler like Pat Cummins.
Cummins, the Australian vice-captain and the team’s beloved poster, are the big favorites to be named successor to Tim Paine, who resigned in disgrace due to a sexting scandal last week.
He would be the first bowler to captain the Australian Test Team since Richie Benaud in 1963, and the first quick since Ray Lindwall took charge of his only match in 1956.
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Talk to foxsports.com.au this week, Australian rhythm legend Lee said Cummins has all the attributes to be a great test leader – but the hurdle of being a fast bowler can’t be ignored.
“I would go to Steven Smith. I think Steven Smith has earned his right to lead Australia again, ”said Lee.
“Could Pat Cummins do it?” He could do it 100% and I think he would do a good job because he has a great cricket brain, he has a very good image, he understands the fundamentals of cricket.
“But I don’t want to put pressure on Pat Cummins. Honestly, it’s too difficult for a quick pitcher.
Lee highlighted the need for bowlers to rehydrate and mentally reset between overs as the main reasons the captain is not suited to rapids.
While not a necessity, bowlers will generally line up on the limit when rotating, as this is the easiest way to access fluids, talk to coaching staff, and relieve pressure. any mental fatigue.
The captain, on the other hand, is usually in the infield where he can talk to the bowler, wicket keeper and umpire, and define the fields more easily.
“If he has to play 20 overs a day in a test match, how will he stay hydrated?” Does he go all the way when he has to be captain of the team? Lee said.
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“When you’re thin-legged, it’s your three minutes to switch off. You sort of watch the game, of course, and the pitch, but you can step back and refresh your mind so you can come back and throw four more overs in that spell.
“So it’s taxing on the body, taxing on the mind when you take care of yourself. When you have to take care of 10 other players, it’s a really, really tough job and that’s why the last bowler to do it for Australia was Richie Benaud, who was a spinner.
Speaking of Cummins, he added, “He sure could do it. I’m not saying he can’t do it, I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to put pressure on the World No.1 bowler. I want Pat Cummins to take wickets for Australia.
“HE CAN GET THE BEST”
Former Australian spinner and fellow Fox Cricket expert Kerry O’Keeffe, however, takes a different view.
O’Keeffe noted that there is a precedent for strong leaders in fast bowling in the modern age – and that Cummins recently provided proof that he is adept at juggling captain and bowling.
“People say, ‘he’s a fast bowler. But in hindsight, one of the most successful test captains who are never mentioned is Shaun Pollock from South Africa, ”said O’Keeffe. “His win / loss ratio is incredible, yet he took the new ball for South Africa but also orchestrated wins.
“And I see Pat Cummins doing the same for Australia.”
He added, “I would choose Pat Cummins because I think he’s a leader, I think he can get the best out of his team.
“I know he lacks the experience as a captain, but he captained New South Wales in four one-day matches last year and won four, and he’s been instrumental in each, so that (the captain) can elevate their own performance.
“I hate to say he has the right image. He has a presence and people follow him, so I think he’ll do the job if he’s nominated.
Drawn on the potential border roster issue, O’Keeffe said Cummins has proven to be a sharp fielder halfway through and halfway and he could stay close to the action. .
Instead, he said the main issue would be the internal battle Cummins may have over whether to launch the right amount.
“It’s the key because he’s such a striking weapon for Australia,” O’Keeffe said. “If the tail is there to be hit, he has to pull himself together because he’s probably the guy most likely to do it, so he’ll struggle with that.”
“Overall I think the players respect him, he knows the way forward, he will lead the way and I think they will follow him.”