Mark Taylor believes making Pat Cummins the skipper will not solve Australia’s problems.
The former Test skipper explained that giving him the responsibility would be too much, with Pat Cummins also the side’s No.1 bowler.
Tim Paine’s captaincy has come under immense scrutiny after Australia’s second successive home series loss to India. The skipper’s performances on the field, and his antics during the games have been criticised too, with calls to make Steve Smith the captain again getting stronger.
Another option touted is to promote vice-captain Pat Cummins and make him the skipper.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Taylor opined that making Pat Cummins the Australian captain will not work, with the bowler having to juggle multiple duties on the pitch.
“I maintain a batsman is the best person to be a captain. Pat Cummins will obviously come into the thinking because he’s vice-captain, but the worry will be you’ll end up with a similar problem the next time Australia are in day five [of a Test match]. Maybe I’m selling Pat Cummins a bit short, but it’s a lot to do to be the No.1 strike bowler or the ‘keeper, and be the captain on day five in Sydney and day five at the Gabba.”
💬 “In Australia, we have a sense of the best player needs to be the captain. I don’t agree with that. I think the best captain needs to be the captain.”
Former captain Michael Clarke believes Pat Cummins should be the next man to lead 🇦🇺
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— ICC (@ICC) March 2, 2020
Many have called for Pat Cummins to be made captain after Australia’s series defeat to India. The fact he is their premier bowler and has proven to be a great asset for Australian cricket are the points argued in his favour.
But Mark Taylor feels that although Pat Cummins can handle matters off the field, his responsibilities during games will impact his leadership.
“The off-field stuff, I’m sure Pat Cummins or anyone would be pretty good at that, and you’ve got [coach Justin] Langer and his support staff to help. But when you’re out in the middle that’s when you really need to just focus on what you can do to maybe make a difference.”
Tim Paine came under criticism for being too defensive during Australia’s loss in Brisbane. From field placements to bowling tactics, the skipper was also criticised for his sledging antics during the Sydney draw too.
Mark Taylor believes that there will always be a problem when a wicketkeeper is the captain in Tests, as it is difficult to juggle the two roles over 5 days.
“One of the problems that Tim was always going to have [as captain] was being a keeper. I know my good mate Ian Healy will disagree with me until the cows come home, but it is hard to be a keeper and a captain. The last two Test matches have shown that.”
Addressing the criticism of Tim Paine’s captaincy, Taylor admits that focus can be an issue if the match stretches on.
“When it’s day five and you’re trying to bowl the side out and you’re out there for 500 or 600 balls … as a keeper that takes a lot of focus. It’s a lot to do, then to think of the bowling changes, think of the field settings and make sure you catch everything that comes your way.”
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 19, 2021