Cummins not keen on captaincy longevity

Pat Cummins will lead Australia in the Ashes but isn't keen on finishing his Test career as skipper.
Pat Cummins will lead Australia in the Ashes but isn't keen on finishing his Test career as skipper.

Pat Cummins has no ambitions of being a career captain, revealing he does not see himself as Australia's Test leader until the day he retires.

Cummins' appointment as Australia's 47th men's Test captain on Friday ended a week-long search for a new skipper, thrown at selectors on the eve of the Ashes.

But there is every chance they could face a similar decision again in coming years, albeit in less dramatic circumstances.

At age 28, there is every chance Cummins could play on for another eight years.

But he doesn't see himself forming the same kind of long tenure that saw Allan Border and Steve Waugh lead dynasties of their own at the helm of the Test team.

"In a perfect world if my form and body could keep up I'd like to be playing into my mid 30s," Cummins said.

"I'd doubt that I'll be captaining that long.

"It's good to have some freshness every 'x' amount of time.

"If I've got seven or eight years in a perfect world of Test cricket I'ld be very surprised if I'm captain for the whole time."

Cummins' approach is at odds with the traditional passage of Australia's full-time captains, most of whom have retired in the job.

Only Steve Smith's suspension and Ricky Ponting's home Ashes loss in 2010-11 have seen Australia go away from that process in the past 35 years.

That approach is best summed up that in the same amount of time Australia have had 47 Test captains, England have had 81.

Cummins does however have stronger views on the off-field responsibilities of the captain.

Cricket Australia revealed last week they would run background checks on Paine's possible successors, desperate to avoid a repeat of the past seven days.

Chairman Richard Freudenstein also claimed at the time that "the role of the Australian cricket captain must be held to the highest standards".

That prompted a strong rebuke from players' union CEO Todd Greenberg, who warned it was dangerous to set such a level of expectation.

Cummins himself admitted he was not perfect, simply happy with himself as his own harshest moral critic.

But he stressed expectations on players or captains could not be over the top.

"That's probably really hit home in the last few days seeing Tim," Cummins said.

"A lot of the pressure and the responsibility of being perfect is unreasonable. It's too much to ask of anyone.

"You've got to have permission to grow.

"We're going to have players come into our side who are teenagers, who are just out of school, who are growing up.

"They've got to be able to fail and know that they are allowed to grow from that.

"We've got to manage our expectations of everyone a little bit more."

Australian Associated Press