Pat Cummins replaced Tim Paine as Australia Test skipper earlier this month. Paine had stepped down following a sexting scandal and then he took some time off to look after his mental health.
“He is also by far the most inspirational player in the Australia side, and even when he was replaced as captain this week, the team still played hard with thoughts of his reputation in mind. Cummins acquired the appropriate nickname Postman Pat before he was appointed captain. He is accorded this handle because he regularly delivers, often providing Australia with a wicket when it’s needed,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“There is a lot to like about Cummins’ appointment, and he certainly delivered in his first captaincy Test with a five-wicket innings haul at the Gabba. Will Cummins have days where it doesn’t all go exactly to plan? Too right – that is the life of a captain, and of any leader anywhere in the world. However, Cummins will improve as a captain because that is what good leaders do: they learn from their mistakes and try to avoid making them in the future,” he added.
Cummins is currently not a part of Australia’s playing XI for the ongoing second Ashes Test as he was deemed as a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
The one question Cummins can’t answer is how many Tests he’ll miss through injury or Covid regulations. His second-Test hiccup is one he will prefer to have avoided, but having to miss games is something you have to deal with.
“Cummins will become a really strong leader and elicit excellent assistance because he’s well respected. Eventually, he will be ranked as a good leader for all occasions. A lot of that will be based on his calmness and common-sense thinking,” said Chappell.
Talking about England captain Joe Root, Chappell said: “Root is an excellent batter but a poor captain. It would not be unfair to describe him as an ordinary and unlucky captain. Rarely do you find a long-term captain who is lacking in imagination but is also lucky. A fortunate captain is usually lucky because the players believe he is some kind of miracle-worker and things tend to work out because of the team’s belief.”
“He is not an inspirational captain and this is indicated by the number of times his team work their way into a decent position but can’t finish the job. This happened again when, where after conceding 425 in Brisbane, England repeated their mistakes in Adelaide to leak 473 for the loss of nine. Another sign of Root’s inadequacy was the number of times he put an English fielder in a catching position following an uppish shot going to that area,” he added.