For months, there have been speculations over who the next captain of Australia will be when Tim Paine bids goodbye. The current Test captain has thrown his weight behind Marnus Labuschagne, who he believes could be an excellent leader.
“He's got some real natural leadership ability and if that's harnessed and helped, I think he'll be a great captain. He's got leadership in him, there's no doubt about that – the way he goes about it, the way he treats people, the way he works on his game, with some time (he) will become an excellent leader for this squad," Paine said.
Labuschagne, who made his Test debut in 2018 against Pakistan has risen quickly as a batsman and is currently the third-ranked batsman in the ICC rankings. Labuschange has not had much captaincy experience, but Paine reckons the 26-year-old will surely take the step up in a couple of years.
"I think he'd be a good leader, Marnus is a great thinker of the game. He's a good team man, he's got so much enthusiasm for his team and the game. With Marnus it's about him evolving into leading more and being more of a leader. He's come into our group and been a really infectious, energetic guy which has been fantastic for our team, but I think in terms of our cricket team improving and Marnus evolving, I think in the next couple of years we'll definitely see him take the step up," Paine added.
Ricky Ponting too had picked Labuschagne as a potential future captain. However, for now, many reckon Pat Cummins and Steven Smith seem to be ahead in the competition.