Who will succeed Tim Paine as Australia’s next Test captain? From Steve Smith to Pat Cummins, who could it be?

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Who could succeed Tim Paine as Australia’s next Test captain, from Steve Smith to Pat Cummins?

Cummins, the vice-captain, is the favorite, while Paine tipped another teammate to be a “great captain” earlier this year.

The Ashes series is approaching, and Australia will be debating a new Test captain following Tim Paine’s surprise resignation.

Paine resigned after it was revealed that in 2017, a year after marrying wife Bonnie, he had sent an explicit picture and text to a female Cricket Tasmania employee.

His tearful resignation speech came more than three years after he took over as skipper, replacing Steve Smith, who also resigned over Australia’s sandpaper ball-tampering scandal and gave a memorable and emotional press conference.

“It’s been a difficult decision,” Paine said, “but it’s the best decision for me, my family, and cricket.”

“Nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague, which served as the catalyst for my decision.

“At the time, the exchange was under investigation by the CA integrity unit, which I fully and openly participated in.

Despite being exonerated, I felt terrible about the incident at the time, and I still feel bad about it today.”

Paine has been confirmed as available for the Ashes by Cricket Australia, but whether he will play remains to be seen, and a new captain from the squad will need to be appointed ahead of the first Test, which begins on December 8th.

Here are the four front-runners to succeed Paine…

Pat Cummins, the current vice-captain, is a strong contender for the job and could be the skipper of an Ashes series in the near future.

He would be the first fast bowler to lead the Australian Test team full-time since spinner Richie Benaud in 1964.

Cummins has been vice-captain for two years, and he mentioned the possibility of captaincy earlier this week, unaware of the news that would follow, given Paine’s neck surgery in September and his status as a possible doubt for the Ashes opener.

“I’ll be ready if I have to,” Cummins said, implying that Paine would return fit.

“If I were in the role and found it difficult at times, I’d lean on ten other guys.”

News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.

From Steve Smith to Pat Cummins, who do you think will succeed Tim Paine as Australia’s Test captain?

Next Australia captain: Who could replace Tim Paine as Test skipper, from Steve Smith to Pat Cummins

Analysis: Why Cummins might not be best man for the job

By Chris Stocks

Once the dust settles on Tim Paine’s shock resignation as captain Australia will have to pick themselves up for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane.

How this scandal affects them during the series is not easy to gauge, particularly as Paine remains in their squad for now and could, at least in theory, still face England at the Gabba in just under three weeks’ time.

Australia are no doubt reeling, with any feel-good factor from their recent T20 World Cup win evaporating the moment the embarrassing skeleton in Paine’s digital closet became public.

The practicalities though dictate they have to name a successor as captain, with all signs pointing to Pat Cummins taking on the role.

Cummins, currently vice-captain, is well respected and probably a better tactician than the blundering Paine, whose shortcomings were brutally exposed at Headingley in 2019 when Ben Stokes’ onslaught sealed one of England’s greatest Ashes wins of all.

There’s a reason why teams tend not to choose bowlers as captains – injury – and the chances of Cummins getting through five Tests in six weeks against England are not great. Maybe he’ll be okay but what if he isn’t? Steve Smith as captain? Again? He may have served his two-year leadership ban following “sandpaper-gate” but turning to Smith would be a retrograde step, particularly as his actual captaincy is pretty mediocre.

Yet could Australia actually be stronger for all this? Paine, with zero centuries in 35 Tests, probably wasn’t worth his place in the team without the captaincy. If he is discarded, Australia strengthen their batting if they bring in another wicketkeeper, probably either Alex Carey or Josh Inglis.

So Paine’s indiscretion actually might make England’s task Down Under this winter harder. Still, you can be sure they are glad it’s Australia and not them dealing with this so close to the Ashes.

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