Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Ian Healy wants Pat Cummins to leave captaincy, focus on bowling

Cummins was appointed as Australia's Test captain in November of 2021 and was made ODI skipper late last year when Aaron Finch retired.

New Delhi: Former Australia wicketkeeping great Ian Healy has urged Pat Cummins to leave Test captaincy in order to avoid ‘captaincy burnout’ and focus solely on his fast-bowling skills.

Cummins was appointed as Australia’s Test captain in November of 2021 and was made ODI skipper late last year when Aaron Finch retired. The 29-year old was also the best red ball bowler in the Test rankings till England’s James Anderson dethroned him from the top spot recently.

With him now not available for the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against India at the Holkar Stadium in Indore due to a serious family illness, Australia’s prospect of fighting back in the series, where they are currently 2-0 behind, takes a serious beating.

“I don’t want him carrying the burden of so much captaincy for too long. I want him to finish (as just a bowler). The captaincy creates a burnout and four to five years is a long time as a captain.”

“He’s done a few years (as Test captain) already, now he’s adding (short-form captaincy) to his thought processes at a time when he’s dealing with some sort of family illness back home. So yeah, I would like to see him finish his career as a tearaway fast bowler and someone else with the captaincy burden,” said Healy to the SEN Radio show on Friday.

As of now, Cummins’ average of 21.50 with the ball is the best of any Australian bowler to take over 200 wickets in Test cricket, as is his strike rate of 47.2.

Asked on who should be Cummins’ long-term successor, Healy thought left-handed batter Travis Head could be a suitable candidate.

“I think Travis Head is quite capable. He’s led South Australia since he was a 21-year-old, he’s quite capable and has got a lot of experience. He’s the main one that stands out to me,” he said.

“The likes of Glenn Maxwell might be able to do parts of it (in the short form), but as far as longer-term captaincy prospects other than Travis Head, I can’t think (of any),” he added.

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