Brisbane: Australian Test captain Tim Paine has backed Marnus Labuschagne as one fit to take over from him, even as former captains Ian Chappell and Michael Clarke have backed Pat Cummins for the top leadership position.
“I think he would be a good [leader]. Marnus is a great thinker of the game. He is a good team man, he has got so much enthusiasm for his team and the game,” Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au “With Marnus it is about him evolving into leading more, and being more of a leader. He has come into our group and been a really infectious, energetic guy, which has been fantastic for our team. But I think in terms of our cricket team improving and Marnus evolving, I think in the next couple of years we will definitely see him take the step up,” added Paine who, at the age of 36, is on the last legs of his Test career.
Paine’s age as well as Australia’s losses in back-to-back Test series against India at home has led to a debate over the Tasmanian’s ability to continue as an inspirational captain for long.
While there were talks that Steve Smith, from whom Paine took over after the ball-tampering scandal, will take over, many former cricketers have backed Cummins.
Cummins, the world No.1 Test bowler on ICC rankings, though is a pace bowler and that seems to be the only thing going against him. In Australian cricket, generally batsmen are handed the mantle of captaincy.