Pat Cummins confirmed as Australia Test skipper, Steve Smith named as vice-captain

Pat Cummins confirmed as Australia Test skipper, Steve Smith named as vice-captain

Cummins pledged to live up to the standards Tim Paine has set over the last three and half years.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Pat Cummins has replaced Tim Paine as the skipper of the Australian Test team ahead of the upcoming Ashes, starting December 8. Cummins was earlier named as the vice-captain of the team for the high-profile five-match Test series, but has been elevated as the captain after Paine got tangled in the ‘sexting scandal’ with a female co-worker.

Last week, Paine also stepped down as the captain of the Test side after serving them since March 2018 post the ball-tampering saga in Cape Town. The 28-year-old Cummins, in the meantime, pledged to live up to the standards Paine has set over the last three and half years.

This is an unexpected privilege, says Pat Cummins

“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years,” Cummins was quoted as saying in a statement, cricket.com.au reported.

Steve Smith has returned to leadership duties after being named Cummins’ deputy for the upcoming red-ball series. After the tampering fiasco, Smith was not only stripped off captaincy, but was also handed a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket.

Last year, he led the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and was also in contention to lead the Welsh Fire in the inaugural Men’s Hundred a couple of months ago. Cummins said that he’s looking forward to working with Smith in Australia’s upcoming assignments.

“With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group. This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to,” he added.

Smith was also delighted after returning to the leadership group and sounded excited to work alongside Cummins.

“I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well,” Smith said.

The opening Ashes Test is scheduled to take place at The Gabba in Brisbane followed by matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.