Legendary Australian captain Allan Border admits he has been won over by Pat Cummins’s performance as skipper of the men’s national side, but predicts the next 12 months will be the true test of his leadership.
- Border says he initially had reservations about Cummins being named Australian captain
- He has been impressed with Cummins’s leadership in the role
- Border believes the next 12 months will test Cummins’s captaincy skills
Cummins was appointed Test captain following Tim Paine’s sudden resignation ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes series in Australia.
Australia won the Ashes 4-0 under the pace spearhead’s captaincy and has since recorded series victories over Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa.
Cummins’s side also drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka away from home last year.
Australia travels to India for a four-Test series next month, before meeting a rejuvenated England in the Ashes later this year.
Border said Cummins had enjoyed a “golden run” since becoming captain, but his leadership would come under scrutiny with the away series against India and England.
Australia has not won a series in India since 2004, while it last defeated England in the Ashes on opposition soil in 2001, although it did retain the urn with a 2-2 drawn result four years ago.
“That is going to be the acid test for him and the team,” Border told ABC Sport.
“The next 12 months is the real test for that side and Pat’s captaincy in particular because India is just about the last frontier for the Australian cricket team.
“We haven’t won there very often. It’s a hard place to play and a hard place to win and England is the same.”
Border said he initially had reservations about Cummins being appointed skipper in 2021 as he was concerned it could affect his bowling.
But he has since been impressed by how Cummins has taken to the role.
“I was not as keen to see a fast bowler [appointed captain], not necessarily the individual but more just the fact that he’s our number-one fast bowler,” Border said.
“But he’s proved so many people wrong that and he’s handled that so well.
“Maybe the make-up of the team has helped, where he’s got quite a few senior players that he can bounce things off and they can sort of take over to a certain degree when he’s got the ball in his hand when he’s bowling.
“I take my hat off to him. He’s done fantastically well. They look like a happy side. They’re playing very good cricket and that’s all you can do as captain.”