Paceman gets his first proper opportunity to lead at senior level and wants to implement lessons learned from those who have led him in the past

While Australia’s selectors, coaches and the cricket-loving public will be eager to see how Pat Cummins fares as the new NSW one-day skipper, there is nobody more intrigued to see how the paceman will perform than the man himself.
Cummins was today appointed the Blues skipper for the Marsh One-Day Cup, the 27-year-old’s first proper taste of captaincy in 12 years.
Not since he captained Penrith in the Under-16 Green Shield competition in the summer of 2008-09 has the right-armer had the (c) next to his name, save for a couple of intra-squad matches on last year’s white-ball tour of England.
With succession planning underway for when 36-year-old Test captain Tim Paine decides to call it a day on his remarkable international career, Cummins will get a chance to show off his leadership credentials with the Blues, starting next Monday against Victoria at North Sydney Oval.
Cummins says he puts himself in the shoes of the captain during games, thinking about bowling changes and field placements between bowling spells, but even he is unsure how he’ll go when he’s calling the shots for real.
“This opportunity is a huge one to actually give it a crack,” Cummins told reporters today in Sydney.
“It’s been Under-16s since I’ve had a decent crack at it.
“I’m just keen to first of all see if I’m any good, or hopeless.
“If I enjoy it, see how it goes and then (I’m) not looking too much further ahead than these few games.
“I think like batting and bowling, captaining can be a skill. You’ve got to practice. You’ve got to try and find your own method and I think the best (way to do that) is by giving it a crack.”
Australia has not had a bowler as Test captain since Richie Benaud in the 1960s, with Ray Lindwall the last fast bowler to serve as Australia’s Test captain, in a one-off Test against India in 1956. 
The physical demands of fast bowling have often ruled out fast bowlers from captaincy contention, but Cummins believes quicks can in fact be skippers.
“I don’t think just because you’re automatically a bowler or a wicketkeeper rules you out of captaincy,” he said.
“No doubt there are a few more challenges about being a bowler but also it brings some opportunities.
“You hope that our skill is trying to get wickets as a bowler and that’s a lot of the time what you’re trying to do as a captain out in the field.
“Managing the workload, that’s something I’m going to have to see how it goes in these next few games and get a taste of it that way, but I’m not too sure about longer-form stuff.”
Cummins has played under six captains at international level and says he will be taking bits and pieces from all his previous skippers, as well as others he has gotten to know, as he looks to form his own identity in charge.
“Steve Waugh was over there (with the Australian camp) in the (2019) Ashes,” Cummins said. 
“I loved how simple he kept things. We all love cricket and talk about cricket and really quickly you try to get into the minutiae of it, whereas I love how he just takes a step back and keeps it simple.
“Ricky Ponting, just his love of the game and how he played 160-odd Tests and still just looked like he was up for every moment and loves it.
“Painey, I love how he manages people. Steve (Smith) is always thinking about the game.
“Even Clarkey (Michael Clarke), I felt a million bucks when he used to give me the ball in my debut game.
“You pick out little bits from each captain but the main thing for me (is) you want to have great relationships, have a bit of fun and always try and think of things.
“Cricket gets boring. You lose your creativity if you think about things too much.”
While his potential journey to the Australia captaincy is just starting, Cummins hopes to see Paine keep his place for a while yet, which could be quite some time if Australia’s Test calendar remains as bare as it stands, with no five-day fixtures scheduled until the start of next summer’s Ashes series on home soil.
“Painey is still here and hopefully he has a few more summers in him,” he said.
“At this rate, a few Tests every 20 months, he might play until he’s 45.
“I’m sure I’ll have some conversations with selectors and other guys to just see how I went, see what we want to do afterwards.
“But nothing is permanent or locked in. Give it a crack for a few weeks and see how we go.”
NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Liam Hatcher, Matthew Gilkes, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Steve Smith
NSW Blues Marsh Sheffield Shield squad: Peter Nevill (c), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Steve Smith, Daniel Solway, Mitch Starc