Pat Cummins and Mitch Marsh poised to take leadership roles

Saurabh Gandle Roar Pro

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Pro

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    With a new coach in Justin Langer, and Tim Paine taking the reins as captain, the culture within the Australian setup is set for a dramatic shakeup.

    As much was evident when Paine led the team out to shake hands with the Proteas before the match in the last Test against South Africa. However, he is viewed as a short-term replacement.

    It’s critical now that the experienced wicketkeeper instils the values he wants to see in the team into the young guns and, in particular, the two men viewed as future leaders: Pat Cummins and Mitch Marsh.

    Marsh, in particular, was earmarked for captaincy even before his debut, back in 2014. Cricket Australia no doubt realise this and have given the captaincy of Australia A to Marsh, which could see him fast-tracked into the Australian vice-captaincy and skipper of his state.

    Mitch Marsh of Australia

    Mitch Marsh (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    As for Cummins, he has been one of Australia’s leading players since returning to the Test team a year ago, in India.

    Indispensable across all formats, he has impressed with his pace, stamina and resilience, as well as his ability to take wickets with the old ball and making precious runs down the order. His defence with the willow is even better than Mitch Starc, who is considered an all-rounder, and Cummins’ batting could be an essential asset on the subcontinent.

    Cummins’ stocks as a potential vice-captain also rose when he was named alongside Paine as a panellist to help create a new charter for player behaviour.

    But both men have only been permanent fixtures in the team for a year now.

    Cummins has battled injuries and Marsh as a Test batsman is only now starting to prosper, after twin centuries in the Ashes and a 96 against South Africa. Hence it’s vital both players are better managed so as to maintain their fitness and performance.

    If they are viewed as future leaders, it’s essential they stay around the team and get to know the values to be instilled, as they shape as role models for upcoming cricketers.

    Both are fantastic cricketers, but they are yet to reach the peak of the playing career, so it’s better to keep Mitch Marsh and Pat Cummins with lighter workloads until they are entrusted with leadership responsibilities.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • June 1st 2018 @ 8:06am
      Paul said | June 1st 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Much is being read into Mitch Marsh being given the Australia A captaincy, but this is most likely because Langer thinks he’s a great captain, a view not necessarily shared by others, (Kahwaja would have been my choice). My concern about MM taking on any leadership role is, this guy is not a fixture in any of the 3 Australian sides. He’s had nearly 30 Tests to prove himself, but averaging 27 with the bat and nearly 40 with the ball just doesn’t cut it. He might be a useful addition to the ODI side, but then, why isn’t he playing in England?

      It would be wrong for Langer and co to pick this guy in a team, unless they were sure he was going to produce and even more wrong to heap a leadership role on him when he is still trying to find his place in the side.

      I’d also hate to see any formal leadership role placed on Cummins. Let him develop a natural leadership role as he plays more cricket so he can help others, without the burden of captaincy.

      Don’t forget, Smith is coming back and there’s plenty of others who could be fine leaders if they develop into better Test & short form players

      • Roar Rookie

        June 1st 2018 @ 9:34am
        Pedro The Fisherman said | June 1st 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        How is Khawaja better than anyone? He is lucky to be in the Test team as test matches, and other forms of the game, are played overseas as well … and sometimes the pitch will take spin (neither of which Khawaja handles very well).
        Perhaps Australia is just sticking with Paine until Smith returns!

        • June 1st 2018 @ 9:47am
          jimbo said | June 1st 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          cant agree with that- khawaja has comfortably been our best batsmen behind Smith and Warner… if you watch him in FC cricket he has no trouble at all playing spin, its just that he hasnt been afforded the same opportunities in the SC as other players have..

          Remember he played the last Aus A tour in India and killed it alongside burns… one bad game in bangladesh and one bad tour of sri lanka (where everyone performed badly) isnt damning enough to exclude him from captaincy

          by any means M Marsh is the most undeserving cricketer to ever play for Australia.. his fc record and test stats back that up

          • June 1st 2018 @ 10:01am
            Jimbo said | June 1st 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

            actually… i should clarify by saying he is the most undeserving cricketer to be afforded such an extended run playing for Australia…

            there’s probably been worse cricketers play for aus (though none come to mind)

            • Roar Guru

              June 1st 2018 @ 10:04am
              JamesH said | June 1st 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              I think the problem is that he was initially undeserving, and stayed in the side despite repeated failures. By any measure, his form in the last 12 months across all formats suggests he is now ready but being gifted so many matches early on means the public will be ready to lynch him as soon as he slips up.

              Sort of like Shane Watson. Deserved to play for Australia, just not as early as he did.

              • June 1st 2018 @ 10:11am
                jimbo said | June 1st 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                fair call… its just hard to watch us lose and him underperform while we have guys like patterson in the wings.

                I think you could be more forgiving if he was playing at 7.. behind paine

              • June 1st 2018 @ 5:54pm
                Justsaying said | June 1st 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                You guys are kidding me right, Khawaja has had the least chances to cement his spot, he has had zero tests in India and got dropped after one bad match in Bangladesh. He was being scrutinised by people like Ronan one game after he got 169 in scg against England just a few months back, no guy had greater scrutiny then Khawaja yet he still managed to average close to 45 in test cricket

            • June 1st 2018 @ 3:39pm
              Paul said | June 1st 2018 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

              Gary Cozier springs to mind. Played 18 Tests, scored a hundred on debut and another a year later but still only averaged 28. It seemed at the time, the worse he played, the less likely he was to be dropped.

          • Columnist

            June 1st 2018 @ 2:18pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | June 1st 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            Jimbo are you aware that Khawaja has averaged just 18 with the bat in his last 16 innings away from home?

            How is he hard done by when he’s putting up those kind of numbers?

            • June 1st 2018 @ 4:14pm
              jimbo said | June 1st 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

              im not denying that he doesn’t need to improve his away record but to be fair what Aus batsmen doesnt??

              M Marsh for example averages 18.87 away from home for context… David Warner 36.75

              Do you think his away record is poor enough to prohibit him from being a candidate for captaincy?

            • June 1st 2018 @ 4:16pm
              Stephen said | June 1st 2018 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

              Ronan i love how you just cherry pick your stats on khawaja, every day you have somethign negative to say about him while at the same time you pump up finch or any WA players equally. Khawaja had a good series in South Africa, he got 2 half centuries there, that also on pitches which resembled sub continent pitches. In his last home game at the SCG which is our most spinning pitch he got a 170 odd. Shaun marsh who you speak so highly about every time complelely failed in South africa but no comments there, equally finch again failed in the IPL but you didn’t mention anything there. Your continual attack on khawaja is getting old mate and for some one who gives content into BBC and CNN is equally dissapointing.

              • June 1st 2018 @ 5:56pm
                Justsaying said | June 1st 2018 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                Ronans journalism is fast becoming a joke with his non stop attack on Khawaja

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2018 @ 10:02am
      JamesH said | June 1st 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      I suspect Marsh will have to wait to become test VC. Even Langer has to acknowledge that he hasn’t cemented a spot in the side yet.

      Nathan Lyon is the obvious choice. The VC should be a heart-and-soul type player (like Gilly) and Lyon fits that bill perfectly.

      • Roar Guru

        June 2nd 2018 @ 12:06am
        Ryan H said | June 2nd 2018 @ 12:06am | ! Report

        Yep – there’s really no other alternative IMO that goes close.

        M.Marsh is cut of the right stuff to do so, I’m sure, but as you say he’s far from nailed down his place just yet. Cummins has leader written all over him as many commentators have touted, but far less experience and credits in the bank at test level compared to Lyon.

        Also a generally likeable and decent character too, so it seems a sensible choice.

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2018 @ 12:55pm
      Chris Kettlewell said | June 1st 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

      Yeah, I do worry about someone like Mitch as VC being that he’s still a long way from having done enough to really convince anyone that he’s a genuine long term test cricketer. Other nations have picked players as test captains who are barely test quality players, but picked because they are really good leaders and that can make up for them only being an average player. But it’s generally something that the more struggling test sides do, like the West Indies with Jason Holder.

      Cummins on the other hand is a player who would now be considered one of the first picked if fit, and the only thing really that could keep him out of the team is fitness concerns. But there seems to be a real bias against making fast bowlers captain or vice captain.

    • June 1st 2018 @ 1:13pm
      BurgyGreen said | June 1st 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

      Lyon would be the smartest option. By far the most experienced player in the team with 78 caps (has it really been that long?) and also probably the player with the safest spot – he has no real rivals as a specialist spinner and we never play without one.

      Well deserved too.

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2018 @ 1:29pm
      Matt H said | June 1st 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      My problem with M Marsh as vice captain is his injury record. Until he can play a season without ending up on the sideline I would go with the more resilient Lyon. Khawaja is the other option, I have no clue how his leadership skills actually are (or Lyon’s for that matter), but it seems to me these two are more likely to be fit and in the side all year, compared to Marsh.

      I just want Cummins to bowl fast and rough batsmen up. Leave the formal leadership skills to others. The best way Cummins can lead is by his actions, which basically scream “follow me”.

      • June 1st 2018 @ 4:17pm
        Stephen said | June 1st 2018 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

        Khawaja should be captain, he is queenland captain and Aus A captain and easily the best option for leadership but he has the wrong surname.

        • Roar Pro

          June 2nd 2018 @ 2:27am
          Saurabh Gandle said | June 2nd 2018 @ 2:27am | ! Report

          Usman Khawaja needs to prove his mettle home and away to be a permanent member of squad.But for that he needs to have ample opportunities presented to him.Tim Paine for now is temporary option not long term.Khawaja can be long term .

          • June 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am
            Stephen said | June 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            I agree with you Saurabh, just give khawaja a real chance oversees, he has had zero tests in india, he is the best choice to fill in as captain while smith is away but for that we need to stop dropping him after just one test match overseas

    • June 2nd 2018 @ 7:56am
      Pope Paul VII said | June 2nd 2018 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      Watching England vs the wonderful Pakis. Great start by english but man the wicket is brown. Will be dead as a door nail soon,

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