Pat Cummins’ infectious composure and confidence are part of what made him a fantastic NSW captain.
Cricket Australia is expected to announce Tim Paine’s successor as Test skipper by the end of this week, with Cummins the frontrunner to get the nod ahead of Steve Smith.
Cummins would become the first fast bowler to lead the side since Ray Lindwall in 1956, prompting questions as to whether he could juggle the additional responsibility.
Blues coach Phil Jaques installed Cummins as one-day captain at the start of this year, giving the paceman a chance to experience managing fields and bowling changes alongside his own overs.
The early evidence, admittedly in a setting far removed from long days in the field and marathon spells associated with a Test, was promising.
Cummins missed the final because of IPL duty but was in charge for every other game as the Blues surged to a one-day title.
“Pat was great, he kept a really relaxed vibe in the change room,” Jaques said.
“He utilised the people around him really really well, kept the guys really relaxed and really confident.
“He learned on the run a bit – he hasn’t done a lot of it over the course of his cricketing life but he is a natural leader.
“He did a fantastic job. I think there’s some really good options across the board in Australian cricket … hopefully it’s one of our own.”
The former Test opener added Cummins “knows how to bring a group together and knows how to keep a group relaxed. They’re really good qualities to have,” Jaques said.
Kurtis Patterson, who captained NSW to victory in Wednesday’s one-dayer against Victoria, played under Cummins’ leadership earlier this year and has known the 28-year-old since being teammates at junior-age carnivals.
“He did a bloody good job,” Patterson said.
“Especially with Test cricket, there’s obviously a fair bit of anxiety that can float around the change room.
“He just takes that out of the room. He is a very calming presence, never overthinks anything or overreacts to situations when they do get tough.
“And he’s going to have some good support around him in terms of the tactics.”