Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Australia are likely to hand over the T20 captaincy to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh officially ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024 to be held in the West Indies and the USA. Since the last T20 World Cup at home, Marsh has led the side in three of the four assignments. Marsh, who was rested from the India series immediately after the World Cup, led the side in South Africa, against the West Indies and then recently in New Zealand.

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has thrown his weight behind Marsh to continue as Australia captain even in the T20 World Cup. Following Australia’s 2-0 Test series win against New Zealand, McDonald who forms the selection panel alongside chairman George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, said, “I think all roads will lead to Mitch, so just got to get that ticked off in certain areas. We are happy and comfortable with the way he has been able to operate with that T20 team. We think he’s the leader for the World Cup, and I think that will just be a matter of due course.”

Pat Cummins, who has led Australia in ODIs and Tests rather successfully, played under Marsh in the three-match T20 series against New Zealand. And even though he has been a sensational leader in the longer formats, he is yet to set the world stage on fire in the shortest format and may not even be a starter in the playing XI and that may have forced the selectors’ hand.

Cummins as Captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024

Cummins is set to lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad SRH) in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) while Marsh is likely to play under David Warner or Rishabh Pant for the Delhi Capitals.

After handing over the captaincy to South African Aiden Markram for just one season (2023), SRH replaced him with Cummins as the new skipper of the team. The 30-year-old pacer was bought for a whopping amount of Rs 20.50 crore in the last auction as he became the second-costliest player in the event’s history.

However, several experts and fans have raised questions over this move by SRH. As per them, even when Australia don’t have belief on the T20 credentials of Cummins, how SRH can give such a huge responsibility on him?

Going by the record, Cummins’ T20 captaincy is not that impressive and his performances in IPL are nothing spectacular either.

Moreover, Cummins playing as the captain of the team will also affect its balance severely as only four overseas players are allowed in the playing XI in IPL.

With frequent chopping and changing in the leadership role and putting a square peg like Cummins in a round hole like T20 cricket is not going to help SRH’s cause at all. Under the circumstance, the SRH think tank must consider their permutation and combination about captaincy and team structure seriously, believe experts.