Once named, Cummins will need to balance his own role as a fast bowler and a leader, including the possibility of periods when he gets injured or rests from the XI. In these cases, the role of the vice-captain – possibly former skipper Steve Smith – would be vital.
“One of the arguments made against fast bowlers is that they always break down, so you don’t have continuity,” said former Australian race leader and NSW captain Geoff Lawson. “Well the drummers break their fingers, they get hit in the head, have concussions and all that stuff too.
“And with Cummo now so resilient, that argument is put to bed. Of course he can still do a hammer or a dowel, all of those things are possible, but I don’t think that’s a compelling argument against him as a Captain, it’s not a disproportionate risk.
Lawson argued that any fast bowler should already think a bit like a captain when looking to clear batters out in the crease. And as a visionary leader of NSW and a major influence on the proactive styles of Taylor and Waugh when they led Australia, Lawson has said he makes full use of his teammates.
“With NSW I had Steve Rixon as my coach, then Phil Emery as the wicket keeper, Waugh, Waugh, Taylor, Matthews, Whitney – some of the most experienced cricketers of all time,” he said. . “And if they were all playing, I would say, especially Tubby at the start, ‘buddy, if you see something, say something.’ It’s simple.
“Often at the end of a game, if I was bowling, I would walk past him and say ‘what’s going on, what do you see’ and he would say ‘well, the ball doesn’t do much, so maybe we can be a little more offensive with our fields’ and come up with something, after talking to Stephen or Mark on Slips. They are all thinking about the game. ″
This dynamic, said Lawson, was made more achievable in an environment of mutual respect and consideration for the cricket brains of all players on a team, although it was also necessary to ensure clarity of plans.
“Trevor Bayliss was another great player to bounce back, and it turned out to be a preview of what he would become a fabulous coach,” he said. “All of these guys could make a contribution to what you were doing. It wasn’t just about hanging on to the rudder as hard as you could.
“If you had too many contributions it would get a little confusing, so sooner or later players figured out when it was a good time to say something – you certainly don’t want to line up ideas every time.”