Clarke says, not Steve Smith, but ‘Cummins should succeed Paine as test pattern’

Ind vs Aus test series: Former Australia captain Michael Clarke is hopeful that Pat Cummins will succeed Tim Paine as the country’s test leader when the veteran’s reign comes to an end.

With Paine, 36, reaching the end of his career, a new discussion about the captaincy has begun. While there have been calls to reinstate Steve Smith as skipper, Clarke believes that Cummins, who was recently named the sole vice-captain after previously sharing the role with Travis Head, should be given the top job when the time comes.

Patty is ready for it. I am delighted that he has been awarded the full-time vice captaincy, “Clarke told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

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Smith and his deputy David Warner resigned after they were punished with a one-year international ban for their role in the 2018 ball-handling scandal.

Since then, Paine has been in command of the test team, while Aaron Finch has taken over the leadership of the limited overs.

“Right now I think Finchy is doing a great job, Painey is doing a great job. So that gives Pat Cummins a chance to learn and watch and sit back and see how he feels about that role and experience a few different things, ”Clarke said.

“Hopefully he has the opportunity down the road to be captain in certain games, be it Australia A or a game on the road, whatever it is, which I’m sure he will.

The last time a sprinter captained Australia was Ray Lindwall in a test against India in 1956.

Clarke, who captained Australia in 47 events before retiring in 2015, also rejected the idea that a batsman is better suited to the role of captain than a bowler.

“No way. There’s a lot of cricket these days. Batters get injured. Bowlers get injured. Guys go to rest,” he said.

“For me, the most important thing is the right person for the job, not whether you are a hitter or a pitcher,” Clarke added.