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Pat Cummins should be Australia’s next captain, believes Michael Clarke

Sydney: Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke believes that pacer Pat Cummins is the right man to lead Australia in all three formats when the time is right.

Ever since Australia lost the Test series against India, there have been calls to replace the skipper and Tim Paine has coped with severe criticism.

“Just because Cummins isn’t out there saying I should be the next captain and I’m ready… it doesn’t mean he’s not a good leader. I’ve made it clear what I think about Pat Cummins. I think he’s shown he’s fit and strong enough to play all three formats now, he’s done that for the last few years. His captaincy I’ve watched tactically for New South Wales he’s been pretty good,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast, as reported by Fox Sports.

“Yes he’s young and inexperienced as a leader but he’ll have good senior players around him so to me I do believe Pat Cummins is the right guy to take over the leadership in all three formats at the right time. Of course, he will need a good vice-captain. An example of that – if Tim Paine retires then someone like Alex Carey comes in, who has captained South Australia, captained the BBL, been vice-captain of Australia.

I think he would make a very good vice-captain. You’ve got the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne. All these guys have got leadership experience as well. They can help Pat Cummins,” he added.

On Monday, former Australia skipper Steve Smith also talked about how he wants to lead the national side once again. Smith was removed as the captain once he confirmed his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.

“You don’t necessarily need to have the captain or vice-captain armband to be a leader and I feel like I say that every single day. Smithy is going to play a huge role in the Australian team moving forward, whether he takes over the captaincy or not, his leadership is going to be important,” said Clarke.

“If Pat Cummins gets the job, that is the first guy I would be going to and speaking to. He’s going to need his support. I think Australia does have options, they are in a wonderful place. They’ve just got to have the confidence to pick the right person, back him, and put some support around him,” he added.

Hours after former Australia skipper Smith spoke about being open to leading the national team if the opportunity does present itself in the future, coach Justin Langer had said the unit is in good hands with Tim Paine (Test captain) and Aaron Finch (white-ball captain).

“We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up — an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good,” Langer told the ABC, as reported by Fox Sports.

“Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available,” he added.

Smith and Cummins will be seen in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Cummins will play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while Smith will represent Delhi Capitals.