Pat Cummins for Australian captain is on the mark but he could add substance as well | Australia cricket team

For a sports organization, the chance to play a card like Patrick Cummins is indeed rare. He has all the assets to be a success with the media and the sports public: tall, good-looking, young enough without being too young, intelligent, well spoken, a winning smile, a touch of political progressivism without – you know – talking about it. too much, a good highlight reel, a winning resume and a place in all formats that is never questioned. Unless an unlikely transgression is unearthed from his past, he is the ultimate clean skin at a time when Cricket Australia desperately needs him.

All of this means that he will surely be installed as Australia’s next test captain once his mandatory milkshake duck check is completed. After the sandpaper farrago in 2018, part of the cricket world managed to attract enough goodwill to see if Australian male players and the governing body responsible for them could remake their culture into a more political regime. kind and sweeter. The PR version of this image was maintained by new captain Tim Paine as he and CA practiced their preaching of “elite honesty” by masking an investigation into his behavior off the field. Three years later, and a tearful resignation press conference ended Paine’s tenure as it had started.

Once again, a captain reshuffle will be the tactic to convince observers that a bold new era has begun, an era completely separate from the past despite sharing all other attributes. To make it sell, those who run CA need one great candidate rather than just the next one. They’ve got one at Cummins, which can make sports enthusiasts stunned by nothing more than a looping GIF of him bowling Joe Root at Old Trafford. Aside from all of the above attributes, it also offers the novelty of seeing a fast bowler lead Australia. Novelty combined with integrity could be a powerful public pain reliever.

Fast bowlers don’t get to Captain Australia. Ray Lindwall did it once, filling in. This is the list. The generally accepted reason is that fast bowling is intensely hard physical labor, so these poor souls need to breathe between their overs, or stop for an hour at the slender leg to recover from a long time, without having to stay focused on the tactics and progress of the game. Without a doubt, it’s easier to bring the pitch together as a specialist hitter standing all day. But that probably underestimates the fast bowlers who, even when not playing, have more at stake than anyone else in the way the opposition progresses.

Fast bowlers also tend to get injured, or at least need breaks, more than players who beat or keep the wicket or even the bowl spinning. But Cummins, after his years of youthful injury, has become Australia’s most durable. In addition to skipping a two-test getaway to Dubai to face Pakistan in late 2018, he has played all 33 of the team’s other tests since his return. This includes two sets of five Ashes tests and another six-test home summer. As for his quality with the ball, he’s the one player Australia won’t want to spin if they can avoid him.

Either way, a captain who misses a game here and there, or even has to miss a streak, is nothing new in cricket. It is more generally accepted in other countries, where the process around the harbor master’s office involves less formality and respect. Sometimes all it takes is someone to do the job.

In any case, there is not exactly a series of alternatives. If administrators are too scared to pick a bowler, they might look to the former captain before former captain Steve Smith. He is still there, still shaking, always ready to take over the task. But in the midst of yet another PR disaster based on CA’s chronic reluctance and inability to demand integrity or hold anyone accountable, restoring a formerly disgraced captain would only exacerbate and underscore the problem.

For an organization more interested in managing the brand than what the entity behind the brand actually represents, this won’t work. They need a choice that communicates a vision to the future, a (another) new beginning, a (another) commitment to do things differently. Whether this is actually true is not important, only if it seems to be true. The only consolation for those who love Australian cricket is that in this case the option that looks the best also happens to be the best option. Hopefully Cummins will bring some substance to add to the style CA wants.

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