Pat Cummins has been confirmed as Australia's new men’s Test captain, replacing Tim Paine after his resignation last week.
Cummins, who previously served as vice-captain, will be deputised by Steve Smith.
He is the first specialist fast bowler to captain Australia’s men’s Test side since Ray Lindwall served the role in one match in 1956. Medium-pace all-rounders Monty Noble and Jack Ryder captained the side in the early 1900s.
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“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years," Cummins, the No.1 bowler in the world on the MRF Tyres ICC Test bowling rankings, said.
“With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group.
“This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to.”
Smith, whose captaincy tenure came to an unseemly end in 2018, has been backed to take the reins in the absence of Cummins when needed.
“Pat is an outstanding player and leader. He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field," Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley said.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who themselves are superb leaders. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles.”
Smith said: “I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well.
“We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other’s company. They are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond.”
Cummins’ first assignment as Test captain will be leading the side in the Ashes, starting 8 December.
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