The Ashes | Australia declare playing XI for Brisbane Test; Travis Head, Starc get selection nod
5 Dec 2021
Australia chose to appoint Pat Cummins as their Test captain and added on the mental pressure to the player, who is already burdened body with the physical workload.
Cummins himself expressed expectations that Australia will rotate their pacers in the upcoming Ashes series at home and hence his elevation as the Test skipper was some sort of watershed moment for pace bowlers across the world of cricket.
However, the team management has a blueprint ready to relieve some of the pressure both off his body and brain by “strategically” using other bowling sources and collective leadership of players who have been at the highest level for a long time.
The head coach Justin Langer said that the team will take care of all commitments of the side and ensure that Cummins doesn’t have to deal with a lot of undue challenges.
He said that Cameron Green and Marnus Labuschagne will roll their arm over to give him options and breathing space in bowling while senior players such as Steve Smith, David Warner and his bowling mates such as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will give him collective cricketing ideas.
"He (Cummins) will be fine strategically," Langer said. "It will just be maintaining the balance of everything else that goes with his bowling load and then captaining and all the other commitments. So we'll keep an eye on that.
"Cam Green is going to be important there with his extra bowling that he can give. Marnus bowling some as well. So we'll try and manage him as best we can. The role of Steve Smith will become very important on the field"This day and age, there's so much data, you're so well prepared ... Pat will get all the gold nuggets. He's got lots of support around him. Steve Smith is the formal vice-captain. David Warner has got as good of a cricket brain in the game.”
"Alex Carey's been a captain before, now he's behind the stumps. He's got his three best mates there in the bowlers (Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon). He's got massive upside Pat Cummins, as a leader and a captain of Australian cricket. He's an outstanding person, he's an elite player".
Cummins was the only bowler who played all the Tests of the last Ashes series in 2019 in England while other pacers were rotated with the help of Peter Siddle and James Pattinson as options.
The upcoming Ashes will answer a lot of questions about Cummins’s leadership and in general about the viability of a pace bowler as captain of the side, and whatever good or bad will be the outcome for them, will set a standard and example for the rest of the world.