Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has hailed Pat Cummins as the future Australia skipper.After taking a series-high 23 wickets in the summer's Ashes, Cummins heads into the first Test against South Africa – beginning tonight in Durban – as a key figure in the series.
The 24-year-old debuted under Clarke in November 2011 in Johannesburg, which for almost five-and-a-half years was his lone Test appearance as injuries blighted his career.
"His debut was fantastic," Clarke told News Ltd in regards to that 2011 match when he took seven wickets and hit the winning runs to be named player of the match in a classic Test.
"Everything we are seeing now in regards to his talent with bat, ball and in the field we saw on debut.He is such a talent and someone I believe can go on and captain Australia one day."
"He's a great athlete and someone I always wanted in the XI in all formats when he was fit."
Current Australian skipper Steve Smith has also hailed Cummins as a highly talented cricketer. "What a star," Steve Smith told cricket.com.au of his young charge. "Just looking at the summer he had, the way he was able to go back-to-back and play all five Test matches at home, I know he's very relieved with that and happy he was able to do it.
"He's got a great set of skills. He's able to swing the ball both ways at good pace, he bowls a good bouncer. He knows what he's trying to do to get batsmen out; he sets batsmen up really well."
"No doubt the more he plays and the more confidence he gets at the international level, he's just going to get better and better, which is incredibly exciting" concluded Clarke on Cummins.