Tim Paine was appointed as captain of Australia post the sandpaper gate scandal. He was built up to repair Australian cricket’s image. Paine was seen as someone who could uplift the spirit of Australian cricket.
Paine did a fairly reasonable job leading the men’s side. He retained the Ashes in 2019 in England. It was the highest moment in his cricketing career. But Paine also became the first Australian captain to lose 2 back-to-back home series to India. He also lost his cool in the hardly fought 3rd Test in Sydney this year against India. But nothing prepared Cricket Australia and its fans about what was in store.
The shock and repercussions of the scandal:
Tim Paine last week resigned with immediate effect as captain in wake of a harassment scandal. His name in the scandal resurfaced this week. Paine was guilty of sending inappropriate text messages to a female coworker in Tasmania. He had no other option but to resign from captaincy. Cricket Australia not only has to repair this damage but also appoint a captain worthy of leading the side.
We look at 3 players who can be the next Australian captain:
#3 Steve Smith
Steve Smith is the most talked-about captaincy candidate at this juncture. He had a great first term leading the side in whites. But going back to Smith will defeat the whole purpose of restructuring the leadership group. Smith under whose reign, the sandpaper gate scandal took place, isn’t a very popular leader. So despite him having the numbers on his side, it looks difficult for now to look at Smith as a worthy captain.
#2 Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins is arguably the best Test player in the world. He has been sensational for Australia in the last 4-5 years. Cummins plays the game hard and fair. He is a workhorse with the ball who gives his all in each delivery. Cummins has been the vice-captain for quite some time now. It will only be fair that he gets a shot at the captaincy. But him being a fast bowler might work against him. As there is already a lot of workload that he shoulders.
#1 Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne is the frontrunner to be the next Australian captain. Labuschagne epitomises the spirit of Australian cricket. He is a hard as nuts cricketer who won’t settle for anything less than excellence. His body language is that of a leader. Labuschagne was always groomed to be the next Australian captain. He idolises Steve Smith, who himself was a former captain. Nobody will be surprised if he is handed the mantle of captaincy.