Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine has hinted that he could hang his boots at the end of this summer after the home series against Pakistan and New Zealand.
With the keeper-batsman possibly leaving and Steve Smith barred from captaincy till 2020, it will be interesting to see how Australia select their next Test captain.
Let us take a look at few of the possible candidates who could step up and lead the team in the reminder of the ICC Test championship.
The pacer who is currently the co-vice-captain of the team should be a frontrunner for the job. Pat Cummins is on top of his game, leading the wickets chart in Tests this year, picking up 48 wickets.
Having made a name for himself as a pace merchant at the start of his career, he has now developed into a complete bowler with his ability to bowl effectively with both the new and the old ball.
If the argument of making the best player in the team the leader is valid, Cummins is certainly in pole position to take up the role. He could become the first fast bowler to lead Australia on a permanent basis in Tests.
A player who was brought into the team as a leg-spinner who could also bat, has now surprised many with his tremendous performances with the willow in hand. We could be talking about Steve Smith from a few years ago but it is the guy who replaced him as the first ever concussion substitute against England at Lord’s.
Since that swap, Labuschagne scored four consecutive fifties and a mammoth ton against Pakistan at the Gabba last week.
The 25-year-old has worked really hard on his batting during his stint at Glamorgan in county cricket and Justin Langer, Australia’s head coach gushes about the player’s attitude.
Though inexperienced, he has shown the ability to excel when thrown in at the deep end. A potential leader perhaps.
The off-spinner is arguably the most consistent spinner going around world cricket and quite probably Australia’s best since Shane Warne.
His thrifty bowling on unfriendly tracks helps the Australians maintain pressure while giving their fast bowlers a break. The 32-year-old has picked up wickets all around the globe and has won games for his country on his own.
He is also quite a popular character in the dressing room and loved by the Australian cricket fans which is evident by the calls from the crowd for ‘Gary’, his nickname during Tests.
The off-spinner is quite astute with his field setting while bowling and is a wily bowler. He could be a shrewd choice to lead the team for the next couple of years before Australia groom their next long-term captain.
The 25-year-old was the youngest captain for his state team, South Australia. The Australian selectors see him as a potential leader similar to George Bailey. Head led his team to their first ever Sheffield Shield final in 20 years in the 2015-16 season. He also led the Adelaide Strikers for their first ever Big Bash League in 2018.
Head is a little inexperienced and inconsistent as a middle-order batsman. After a poor Ashes series this year, the onus is on him to prove his worth at this level in the upcoming series.
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