Former Australia skipper Allan Border has stated Pat Cummins has thus far done ‘fantastically well’ as the captain of the Test team, but believes that the forthcoming tour of India will prove to be the ‘acid test’ for the 29-year-old’s captaincy.
Cummins was appointed skipper of the Test side just weeks prior to the commencement of the 2021/22 home Ashes, after Tim Paine resigned following being involved in a sexting scandal, and under the speedster, Australia have astonishingly lost a solitary Test in 14 months. They’re the number one ranked team in the world and they currently sit at the top of the World Test Championship standings, having all but sealed their spot in the WTC final.
But though Australia are unbeaten at home under Cummins, and have already won away in Pakistan, Border believes the forthcoming four-Test series against India is what will be the true test of the speedster’s captaincy.
"That (tour of India) 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."
Cummins was the obvious choice when Paine quit owing to his experience, but there was apprehension among several former Australian greats owing to the 29-year-old being a fast bowler. Before Cummins’ appointment, Australia hadn’t had a fast bowler as Test captain in 66 years.
Border admitted that he initially ‘wasn’t keen’ on seeing a fast bowler being appointed skipper, but claimed that Cummins had proven many, including himself, wrong.
"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."
Cummins’ Australia will be aiming to become the first side since England in 2012 to win a Test series in India. The Kangaroos came agonizingly close in 2017 but ultimately ended up losing the series 2-1 after losing the decider in Dharamshala.