Steve Waugh has lent his opinion on how the nation should move forward in terms of leadership following Tim Paine’s resignation as Test captain. The wicket-keeper batsman stepped down as skipper after he was found to be texting explicit content to a female co-worker four years ago.
With the incident resurfacing and an investigation being probed by Cricket Australia, Paine chose to vacate the role of Test team captain ahead of the Ashes. Steve Waugh feels that Pat Cummins is the most logical choice when it comes to taking over the captaincy reigns, as he is already the vice-captain of the team. While speaking with WA Today, Waugh said:
“Pat Cummins is definitely the front runner to lead the side in Brisbane for the first Test, he’s the vice-captain and there is a lot of talk of him taking over Tim Paine sooner or later even without this incident. So, I think he is the logical choice. For the vice-captain, I don’t know, someone like a Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, he’s experienced.”
Steve Smith has already declared his interest in leading the national side again following the end of his ban. He became eligible to lead the side after two years had passed since the incident in South Africa. Waugh also added that the selectors would be turning towards Alex Carey to replace Tim Paine in the team to don the gloves. Waugh added:
“I’d say Pat Cummins will take over and the selectors would be seriously thinking about which wicket-keeper to pick for the first Test. I like Paine as a cricketer, I was a selector when I picked him. Now they will be looking into someone like an Alex Carey for the role of the wicket-keeper.”
Tim Paine has made himself available for selection in the Ashes despite having resigned as captain of the team. Apart from Alex Carey, Josh Inglis has also been touted to eventually take over from Paine in the near future.
Lots of things are against Tim Paine now: Waugh
Steve Waugh admits that it is going to be very tough for Tim Paine to overcome these obstacles set in place. Age is not on the side of the wicket-keeper. Having just undergone major surgery to treat his neck injury, the odds were already stacked against him prior to this incident. Waugh added:
“I don’t like commenting on things I don’t know. Look, I mean Tim Paine has done a great job while he has played and even as the captain of Australia. He’s led the team beautifully and the culture really seems good within the team. I think we’re all just sort of waiting for the next piece of information, but I think it’s going to be tough for him, he’s 36 years of age, coming back from an injury and he’s got this scandal hanging over his head now so there is a lot of things against Paine now.”
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Paine took over as captain of the team following the infamous Sandpaper gate in South Africa. It saw the team’s leadership stalwarts face a suspension for their involvement in ball tampering.