5 Players Who Can Become The Next Australian Captain In ODI Cricket
Aaron Finch retired from ODI cricket earlier this month due to poor form and injury struggles. Finch had taken the Australian white-ball captaincy in 2018 in the aftermath of the ‘Sandpapergate scandal’ in Cape Town leading to Steve Smith’s sacking. The opener will continue to captain the T20I side in their defence of the T20 World Cup next month.
The swashbuckling opener goes out with 5406 ODI runs scored in 146 ODIs, of which he captained in 55 ODIs, winning 31 of them. He led Australia to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in England where they were beaten by the hosts.
The Australian selectors have about two months of time to decide on the new ODI skipper as their next ODI series is not until after the T20 World Cup in mid-November.
Here are the 5 top candidates for taking over Australia’s ODI captaincy job:
Former skipper Steve Smith, who is now the Test vice-captain, is considered by many as the leading contender to take up the ODI leadership job. With the 2023 World Cup in India only 13 months away, fans and experts reckon Smith’s previous experience at the helm will be crucial.
Smith’s captaincy ban was over in 2020, and he’s already led Australia again - in the Adelaide Test match vs England last year when Pat Cummins was unavailable.
While Cricket Australia (CA) would consider Pat Cummins, the Test captain, Pat Cummins, as a liking to be elected as the new ODI skipper - given his good image around media and fans - however, the concern with having Cummins, a fast bowler, as a Test and ODI captain will be around his availability in the white-ball formats.
Cummins has previously said that it would be asking too much of him as a multi-format captain given the volume of cricket he plays - which also includes the IPL - and that in the past couple of years, Cummins has often been rested from bilateral ODI and T20Is.
Finch, though, believes Cummins would be the ideal man to replace him as the captain. “If anyone could handle it, it’s Pat. He’s an unbelievably resilient person and has shown brilliant leadership of the Test group and I’ve loved working with him while he has been in that role and vice-captain a few times. He takes everything in his stride,” Finch has said.
David Warner is currently on a lifetime ban from holding any leadership position in Australian cricket for being the instigator of the ball-tampering event. But, now, not only Warner, but also Cummins has spoken about the lifting up of his ban.
Warner said that he would like to have a conversation with CA about the quashing away his ban, and this topic could be brought up at the next AGM next month. However, while Warner becoming the ODI skipper is a long shot at the moment - in that case, Smith would again be a likely favourite - but he could still be given the role of a deputy.
Although Glenn Maxwell’s name for Australia’s next ODI skipper choice isn’t as strongly suggested as some others, the all-rounder brings in the set of skills and experience that would be difficult to ignore for the selectors when and if they do discuss him.
Since Maxwell isn’t part of the Test side, he plays all white-ball cricket for Australia and holds a secured place in the eleven. Maxwell is the captain of the Melbourne Stars in the BBL and has also captained Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) for one season in the IPL.
Wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey was the interim skipper in the ODI series in West Indies last year - which Australia won 2-1 - when Finch was injured. Carey has a good amount of experience - 59 ODIs under his belt - and is the first-choice keeper in the ODI and Test eleven.
Carey, who has led Australia A in the past, is hailed to have excellent leadership qualities, which could title the scales in his favour when the selectors sit down to finalize Australia’s new ODI skipper.