Former cricketer Brad Hogg believes Steve Smith should take over Australia’s captaincy reins from Pat Cummins for Test cricket. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg pointed out that having a batter as a skipper makes more sense, as it is essential to give fast bowlers a break from time to time to manage their workload.
He also reckoned that leading a team would be very challenging for Cummins, given that he plays in all three formats, as well as in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I think Steve Smith should be the permanent captain,” Hogg suggested. “Fast bowlers, you need to give them a bit of a break, especially when they are playing all three formats. Pat Cummins is going over playing in the IPL as well. His workload is going up.
“For me, I think the batters have to be captains because it is too much pressure on the fast bowlers. Yes, Pat Cummins has got away with it early on, but as time goes on, I think it’s going to create a little more frustration.”
Australia suffered back-to-back losses in the first two Tests of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against India under Pat Cummins. The speedster was unavailable for selection for the third Test due to personal reasons and Smith was named as the stand-in captain.
Steve Smith bagged praise from all quarters for his leadership in the Test. The Australian side staged a turnaround in Indore, securing a thumping nine-wicket victory over India on a spinning track.
“Batters are under less pressure” – Brad Hogg on why Steve Smith should replace Pat Cummins as Australia’s Test skipper
Brad Hogg further stated that bowlers have to deal with more pressure as compared to batters. He mentioned that as a fast bowler, it is possible that Pat Cummins might not be able to make the right decisions when he is worn out.
The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that Steve Smith is a very good reader of the game and thus knows how to put pressure on the opposition.
“We saw in the last Test match that Steve Smith has the art of captaincy,” Hogg added. “He reads the game well. He makes those small little changes that put pressure on the opposition batters. At the end of the day, if I look at all the great captains when they’re batting, they don’t see themselves as captains.
They’re just out there doing their job as batters, trying to put runs on the board. But it’s in the field where they make the majority of their decisions. Batters are under less pressure. Bowlers have to worry about their own bowling. Also, sometimes when you’re wearing yourself out, you’ve got that physical pressure on you, and it affects mental thoughts as well.”
Pat Cummins won’t return to the Australian team for the upcoming fourth and final fixture of the Test series against India and Smith will remain the captain. The match will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from Thursday, March 9.