The Cummins slogan: Can bat, can bowl, can field … can lead

Pat Cummins was an 18-year-old yet to wear the baggy green when he made his first impact on the Australian Test team. Still a teenager, Cummins’ enthusiasm was infectious.

“He was so excited to be around the team,” former Test batsman Michael Hussey recalled. “He was like any typical 18-year-old, he loved the cricket and was very excited to be part of an Australian team. He also wanted to explore the social side of life being an 18-year-old kid.

“He brought us back to your youth. It wasn’t like he was going out all the time but he had the excitement. He wanted to enjoy the social side of the game as well, which is a nice balance. Sometimes in the Test side it can be too full-on.

“In a way he helped the culture of the team because he wanted to go out for dinner, socialise with the team, socialise with others, and it got us out of our rooms, it helped us. He really added to the culture without knowing about it.”

Six years on, Australian cricket fans are seeing in Cummins a player of rare talent and qualities. If there’s a slogan that sums him up, it’s “can bat, can bowl, can field”. Some in the game might even add “can lead”.

Cummins’ leadership qualities have been evident for several years now. Former coach Mickey Arthur noted early in Cummins’ career he was already more mature than some of his more experienced teammates, an assessment that Hussey agrees with.

“It comes down to him being down to earth but also very respectable, good manners, good values, good morals,” Hussey said.

“And quite often you don’t see those characteristics in younger people. Sometimes you don’t see them in more experienced people as well. They develop over time whereas he developed them at quite a young age. I tend to agree with Mickey.”

Fast bowlers rarely get the chance to captain Australia. The stereotype of the big, dumb fast bowler has not helped though the demands of the discipline make captaining even more difficult.

“I think he understands the values in a team and knows how to bring a team together,” Hussey said.

“They’re as important leadership qualities as anything, you need the tactical nous as well but I think he’s quite a smart bowler.

“A good example of that was how he set up Joe Root for lbw. You could see he was working to a plan, swing a few away then dart one back in.

“It shows he has an intelligence. Having the intelligence is one thing but also the ability to bring people together. He has that infectious personality of bringing people together.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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