(Reuters) – Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne said the time is right for fast bowler Pat Cummins to succeed Tim Paine as captain of the test team and blood Josh Inglis as the side’s next wicketkeeper.
Paine resigned on Friday after media revelations he had been investigated and cleared over sexually explicit text messages sent to a female former colleague four years ago.
Vice captain Cummins, 28, has taken 164 wickets in 32 test for Australia since making his debut in 2011.
“For me, the time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, something I thought even before the events of Friday unfolded,” Warne wrote in Australia’s The Daily Telegraph on Sunday.
“The poster boy, respected and loved the world over, Pat Cummins should now be named captain, and either Matt Wade, Josh Inglis or Alex Carey should get their chance to come in and play Paine’s role in the Test team.
“Inglis gets my vote. He’s got silky smooth hands behind the stumps, he’s a 360 degree player with the bat and coming off three first class hundreds last season for Western Australia. He’s a great team man who I saw first hand at the London Spirit this year. He’s 26. Get him in.”
Warne, who has previously criticised Paine’s captaincy, praised the 36-year-old’s leadership after he was appointed captain in place of Steve Smith in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018.
“It was sad to see what happened last Friday on so many levels and the circumstances in which Tim was forced to stand down. I really feel for him, what he’s going through, and what his family is going through,” Warne added.
“I’m not judging him on this incident. Just because Tim is in the public eye doesn’t mean he won’t make a mistake. Sportspersons are human, they have feelings. Let’s stop the judgement. It’s not our place to do that.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)