Aus vs Pak: Travis Head appointed co-vice-captain as Pat Cummins’ Australia team embraces new leadership

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Travis Head is now the co-vice-captain

. Pat Cummins, the current captain, stated that Head possesses all the qualities to be a future leader, and the decision to appoint him is part of an effort to secure the leadership pipeline in Australian cricket. Head, 29, was added to Australia’s leadership group on Wednesday, one day before the first Test against Pakistan in Perth. The team’s XI for the match was also revealed, with the only change being Nathan Lyon replacing Todd Murphy as the sole spinner. Steven Smith remains the senior vice-captain and will continue to fill in for Cummins when necessary. He has stood in for Cummins in four Test matches over the last two years. Head was previously a co-vice-captain with Cummins when Tim Paine was captain but lost the position once he was dropped from the side in 2019-2020. However, his excellent form across formats has secured his spot in the team, and Cummins confirmed that the move was made to prepare for the future. “Really excited to have Trav on board as the co-vice-captain,” said Cummins. “He’s always been a leader in our group, and we feel like we’ve got some responsibility to future-proof the team and start trying to give opportunities to other leaders.” Cummins, who became captain in November 2021, has consistently mentioned that his tenure as captain won’t be long, and Smith, who is 34, is unlikely to be the permanent captain again. Head is seen as one of the top contenders to lead Australia after Cummins. Having been appointed as captain of South Australia in Sheffield Shield cricket at 21, he has extensive experience as a leader in domestic and franchise cricket. Cummins did not confirm that Head was the heir apparent but mentioned that the move will provide him with a good opportunity to prepare for a leadership role. “It doesn’t guarantee anything,” Cummins said. “But we’re giving him a good opportunity. So when you look through the candidates for future captains, of course, he’s going to be right up there.” Head’s tactical awareness and popular presence within the team played a significant role in his elevation to co-vice-captain. “Sometimes you can mistake that for someone who’s not a deep thinker about the game, but I think tactically, he’s excellent,” Cummins said. “He’s got all the makings of a really strong leader, and we’re making that a little bit more formal around the Aussie team.”

Pat Cummins on Travis Head

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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