‘He has delivered with bat, ball and leadership’: But Pat Cummins is a captain who still never seems to get his dues


Pat Cummins has led Australia to the Cricket World Cup title – and to me, that is absolutely not surprising at all.

It is not a coincidence that Australia has been able to find success in a number of run chases under the leadership of Cummins.

Going back to the first Ashes Test of the year at Edgbaston, the Australians needed 282 to win, but they were quickly reduced to 8/227. From that point, Cummins created a formidable partnership with Nathan Lyon on a pitch that was assisting the bowlers and hit the winning runs with his bat while remaining not out on 44.

Furthermore, he was a part of probably the greatest ODI chase ever and assisted Glenn Maxwell in his heroic innings by defending the ball like a wall.

The result? Australia ended up securing a victory literally crawling back up from the jaws of defeat from being seven wickets down for 91 runs only. Then came the semifinal against South Africa, and once again, it was Patrick Cummins who hit the winning runs with his calmness and remarkable temperament.

Ever since Cummins took on the captaincy, he has been scrutinized and crucified by some for his captaincy skills. Calls were even made to make him resign from his position during the Ashes series.

It was said that his tactics were not good enough. Some even labelled him “un-Australian”. Has Pat Cummins made mistakes along the way? Yes, he has. But again, which captain has not?

Legends like MS Dhoni and Ricky Ponting were two of the best captains in cricket history, and yet they could not go about their business without making some errors. If they were allowed to make some mistakes then I do not know why Pat Cummins was not allowed to make a few in the early days of his captaincy.

Ironically, most of the criticism that went his way was unfounded and baseless. His tactics were not as bad as people made them to be.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins of Australia celebrate victory over South Africa. (Photo by Matt Roberts-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

With all said, any reservations people had about his tactics should be put to rest now. The Aussie captain has been astute on the tactical front throughout this World Cup.

The World Cup final is a testament to this fact. He single-handledly suffocated India’s batting lineup with his brilliant field changes and smart rotation of the bowlers.

In terms of his own performance, whenever Australia needed him the most he has delivered both with the bat and ball. On wickets where fast bowlers struggled, he stood tall by bowling the hard overs and taking crucial wickets at crucial times. Needless to say, his impact with the bat has been significant too.

Best feeling in the world! ???? #CWC23 pic.twitter.com/qUe7vX5rFw

— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) November 19, 2023

Captaincy is not only about tactics, it covers a lot of other aspects. Cummins has brought an element of calmness in his leadership. He has maximised his players’ performances with this element.

It is clear that he has been able to cultivate a healthy dressing room environment and earn the respect of his players. A team is a reflection of its captain.

Every player looks up to their skipper, and this man has never put his head down in the face of adversity. No matter how difficult a situation is, he has always fought back with a smile on his face and has never lost his nerve.

When the rest of the players witness this, it invariably lifts their confidence as well. That is how impossible games are won, that is how a World Cup is won.

There has always been something extraordinary about Pat Cummins. Right from his debut, his body language on the field has been different. He has never engaged in needless sledging and has shown aggression through his game.

The way he handles press conferences and speaks to the media has been measured and mature. He exuded leadership qualities even before being appointed captain.

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So no, it is not a surprise that Pat Cummins helped win the World Cup for Australia, and it will not be a great shock either if he turns out to be one of the all-time great captains in the history of cricket.

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