The former captain’s role as second to the captain will be more important than ever, and his knowledge and preparation for leadership are crucial when paceman Cummins has a ball in his hand.
The Cummins have shown that they have relied on Smith to take over other positions on the pitch, and are willing to listen to other senior players to get in and out of the fight, due to his lack as a bowling captain.
The 28-year-old will be the second fastest Australian captain after Ray Lindwall in 1956, and the first to do so on a regular basis.
Players no longer have this role, and Richie Benaud in 1963 was the last direct lead.
“It may look a little different from outside of other directors in the past,” Cummins said.
“One of the most talked about reasons for athletes not being able to become captains in the past, is the issue of work.
“There will be a time when I will be in the middle, it is hot, I am in the middle of magic and I have to turn to people for advice, methods, and knowledge.
“And that’s the main reason I wanted Steve to be second in command.
“There will be times on the pitch when I throw Steve and you’ll see Steve move players, maybe changing bowling.”
Cummins and Smith have played together since they were teenagers, and they met earlier this week before being selected to discuss how they could work together.
Their first problem appears to be to bring the team back into trouble, after Paine immediately took a break from cricket on Friday following a sexually explicit text message that terminated his leadership late.
The duo believe that good leadership on the field will be fluid, and some days it is easier for Cummins to be able to improve than others on fire.
Smith’s experience could be helpful considering that Cummins joined Michael Clarke as the only men who could be the full-time captain of the national team.
“We’ve known each other for a long time. We’re best friends,” Smith said.
“We are very close and I think we support each other very well.
“I’m very happy and I think this could be a very good partnership in the future.
“It’s my job to help Pat and help develop this team to be one of the hopes that can be achieved and that Australia is proud of.”
Cricket Australia officials reaffirmed on Friday that if the Cummins missed the game, it would be Smith who would regain power.
But the new Australian captain insists that this does not happen very often, without the idea of changing the team to rest.
After suffering a serious injury that lasted nearly 2000 days between his first and second tests, Cummins did not miss the Australian red ball game since October 2018.
“I doubt very much if I take a break from Test cricket,” Cummins said.
“I have never retired from Test Cricket and I doubt if I will start here.”
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