Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell believes Pat Cummins, Alex Carey and Moises Henriques should be the front-runners to take over the T20 captaincy if the out-of-form Aaron Finch is axed.
Chappell said in an ideal world David Warner would replace Finch in the event of the Victorian getting dropped, but he’s nominated Cummins, Carey and Henriques because Warner’s on “the non-grata list”. Cricket Australia slapped Warner with a 12-month suspension from international cricket as well as a lifetime international leadership ban in the wake of the infamous ball-tampering saga in 2018.
Finch’s dismal run of form continued in Australia’s second T20 against New Zealand in Dunedin when the 34-year-old was dismissed for 12 runs. That followed the one run he had made in the series-opening T20 in Christchurch, as well as the 13.77 he had averaged from 13 innings in the latest BBL summer.
But Chappell clearly believes Australia have plenty of strong captaincy options waiting in support as the T20 World Cup looms.
“Patrick Cummins is of course one they’ve got earmarked for leadership. They’ve had Alex Carey dangling there for a while and he’s the Adelaide Strikers’ captain, so he’s got experience,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.
“The one other candidate I’d have there: Henriques. He’s had success with the Sydney Sixers and he’s good enough to hold his place in the side.”
Chappell made no mention of Steve Smith despite the fact he used to captain Australia in all three formats and only received a two-year leadership ban for his involvement in sandpapergate, which expired on March 29 of 2020.
But Cummins is now the captain of the NSW Blues’ one-day cup side, Carey is the Stikers’ skipper and Henriques has captained the Sixers to victory in the last two BBL tournaments.
“The first thing with Cummins – and he’d be my first choice – is he’s going to hold his place in the team all the time, and secondly, he’s an inspirational cricketer,” Chappell said.
“If you can’t be inspired by Pat Cummins no one is going to inspire you.
“Carey – I nominated him because he’s done a bit of captaincy and the Australian selectors have had him in a vice-captain position a few times.”
Chappell raved about Henriques’ performance as captain of the Sixers.
“I’d probably go for Henriques ahead of Carey, mainly on the basis that he’s a very calm captain and he’s had success. He’s done a good job as the Sixers’ captain.
“The Sixers have experienced success and that’s a pretty good criteria for a captain. When the players around you know that the captain has been successful, it gives them a bit of a perk-up if things are getting a bit tight. They think to themselves, ‘Well this guy’s done it before so he can do it again’ – and that’s a big plus as a captain.
“Plus Henriques is an intelligent guy and I think he’s the sort of fella that you want to play for. That’s another really important attribute for a captain. If you’ve got the other 10 players wanting to play for you you’re ahead of the game.”
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