Pat Cummins definitely the front runner to lead Australia in Brisbane Test: Steve Waugh
Tim Paine has stepped down as Australia's Test skipper on Friday.
Updated - Nov 19, 2021 1:59 pm
Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh reckoned that Pat Cummins is the apt candidate to lead the Aussies in their opening Ashes Test against England at the Gabba in Brisbane. Prior to the start of the five-match series, Tim Paine stepped down as the Test skipper of the national team after an off-field scandal, where he sent explicit texts to a female co-worker back in 2017, came to the fore.
Paine announced his decision to step down in a press conference at Hobart on Friday, November 19. However, he made himself available for selection in the Ashes Tests. To replace him, Waugh said that Cummins, being the vice-captain, is a strong contender.
Waugh also said that Steve Smith is an excellent choice for the vice-captain’s role. Back in 2018, Paine took over as the Australian Test skipper after Smith got involved in the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa.
Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, says Steve Waugh
“Pat Cummins is definitely the front runner to lead the side in Brisbane for the first Test, he’s the vice-captain and there is a lot of talk of him taking over Tim Paine sooner or later even without this incident. So, I think he is the logical choice.
“For the vice-captain, I don’t know, someone like a Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, he’s experienced,” Waugh told WA Today.
Apart from the off-field controversies, Paine is also battling his physical health issues. Having undergone surgery on his neck, he has been fighting against time to get fit for the Ashes. Waugh said that with age not being on his side, Paine’s road ahead isn’t going to be a smooth one by any means.
“Look, I mean Tim Paine has done a great job while he has played and even as the captain of Australia. He’s led the team beautifully and the culture really seems good within the team. I think we’re all just sort of waiting for the next piece of information.
“But I think it’s going to be tough for him, he’s 36 years of age, coming back from an injury and he’s got this scandal hanging over his head now so there is a lot of things against Paine now,” Waugh added.