"I'll Be Surprised If...": Ricky Ponting Names His Pick for Australia ODI Captaincy
Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Pat Cummins would go on helm the side in the 50-over format after the retirement of Aaron Finch
Earlier this month, right-handed batter Aaron Finch decided to retire from ODI format and he bid farewell from the 50-over game after playing a three-match series against Zimbabwe. Off late, Finch has struggled in this particular format and hence his decision cannot be looked at as a major surprise. His retirement means that Australia are now looking for a new ODI captain and former skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Pat Cummins would go on helm the side in the 50-over format.
"I think it'll be Pat Cummins, to be honest. I know he doesn't play all the ODIs for obvious reasons, because his workload in Test cricket has been, like all the fast bowlers, very high in the last few years," Ponting said on the ICC Review.
"I know they are very conscious of making sure that they've got Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Mitchell) Starc a 100 percent fit and healthy for the big Test series to come around. But look, I'll be surprised if it wasn't Pat Cummins," he added.
Steve Smith and David Warner were given a leadership ban by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the Sandpaper Gate (ball-tampering scandal) against South Africa in the Cape Town Test in 2018.
"I'm just basing this on what's happened with Steve Smith - he is now the Test vice-captain again, having been the captain and really at the centre of the whole controversy in Cape Town," Ponting said.
"He is now the Test vice-captain, which means obviously that if Pat Cummins ever misses a Test, then Steve Smith is going to be the captain of Australia again in Test match cricket. So, if that's the case, and all being even and reasonably fair, then I think it would be OK, as far as I'm concerned, for David Warner to have his name (in the ring). Not saying that they have to make him captain, but he should be able to be in the conversation," he added.
When asked about the retirement decision of Finch, Ponting said: "I wasn't surprised actually. I sort of personally felt that he was probably one game away or one failure away from getting dropped anyway. That's how bad his last 12 months have been in one-day international cricket."
"I think it was the right time. I actually thought it was really noble, what he said as well, that stepping down when he did, it gives the next captain a reasonable time leading in to get themselves and his team ready for the next World Cup," he added.
Finch played 146 ODIs during his career, averaging 38.89 with the bat and his tally of 17 hundreds in ODIs is the third-most by an Australian player.