Australian cricket team head coach Justin Langer is not in a hurry to announce the deputy of Australia's Test and One Day International captain Tim Paine, as he is confident there are enough emerging leaders ready to take up the role but it only depends on what shapes a tough summer.
On Tuesday (11 September), Cricket Australia announced the 15-men squad opting to not unveil a vice-captain for the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan next month in the UAE.
It will be Paine’s first full Test series since replacing Steve Smith, while the Australian team management has to find a deputy to replace David Warner, as he can never hold a leadership role in the national team again following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Mitch Marsh, who is leading Western Australia, Perth Scorchers and Australia A, is favourite to take up the vice-captaincy, but there are other strong candidates for the role, including Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja and Langer said a final call regarding the same is likely to be taken next week.
As per reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, Langer said, “There’s a number of guys who captain their states now. Mitch will certainly be in the hunt. He’s just coming back from his surgery, he’s captain of WA so there’s no doubt he’ll be one of the frontrunners for vice captaincy.”
The coach further added, “Aaron Finch is also the captain of the T20 side, hasn’t played Test cricket yet. Josh Halzewood is not on this tour but is highly regarded within the group. Travis Head is another one. Guys like Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja - a lot of good young leaders there. Whoever has got the title that’ll be one thing but as long as we’ve got lots of leaders, that’s what worries me.”
For Australia, there is one option is to name a vice-captain only for the series against Pakistan, then they can reconsider ahead of the upcoming home summer.
Langer signed off by saying, “We’re going through a process at the moment which is a bit different to what we usually do in Australian cricket. But what I do know is there are five or six guys who are in the hunt for leadership positions in white ball and red ball cricket. There’s a couple of guys - we’ll announce that in due course.”