Australian great Allan Border is mighty impressed with Pat Cummins’ captaincy but said the upcoming four-Test series against India will be his real “acid test and the final frontier”.
Australia will begin the marquee Test series at Jamtha from February 9 as they eye their first series win in India in 19 years.
“That is going to be the acid test for him and the team,” Border was quoted saying by ABC Sport.
Having been elevated to the hot seat after Tim Paine’s sudden resignation ahead of the Ashes 2021, the Aussie pace spearhead has had a golden run.
Cummins began his captaincy stint winning the Ashes 4-0, then won against Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. Australia also drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka away from home last year.
The results meant Australia are favourites to make their maiden World Test Championships final. The India series will be the last series in the WTC calendar before they take on England in the Ashes with an eye to win on opposition soil for the first time since 2001.
“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,” the 67-year-old said.
The former Australian skipper said initially he was apprehensive about Cummins leading the Test side but he has ensured that it didn’t affect his bowling.
“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. But he’s proved so many people wrong and he’s handled that so well,” Border said.
“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.” Australia will play four Tests in Nagpur (February 9-13), New Delhi (February 17-21), Dharamsala (March 1-5) and Ahmedabad (March 9-13).
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