James Pattinson has delivered a ringing endorsement of Pat Cummins' captaincy credentials, arguing the fast bowler is exactly the sort of leader Australia need in their hour of need.
Cummins is the frontrunner to replace Tim Paine as Test skipper, with Cricket Australia set to make a call within a week.
Promoting the vice-captain would be a logical step for the governing body in many ways, yet it would also fly in the face of recent tradition given no paceman has captained Australia's Test XI since Ray Lindwall in 1956.
Pattinson, having watched Cummins go from strength to strength since his long-awaited Test recall in 2017, believes there is a good reason why the 28-year-old can break the mould.
"He'd be unbelievable. He's got everything, got all the attributes of an Australian captain," Pattinson said after starring in the drawn Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and NSW at the SCG.
"He's a calm head ... that's exactly what I think we need.
"He's got a great cricket brain, a lot of friends in that group, and just a great person.
"He brings a team with him as well. You go out there with him and he sets the example ... he brings people with him."
Cummins last month tried to talk Pattinson out of retiring from international cricket, with the pair having shared a bond after battling multiple injuries in the early stages of their careers.
"He's obviously got more confidence now ... it's a natural progression for him.
"He doesn't really have to say too much but his presence is enough ... he'd be fantastic."
NSW captain Kurtis Patterson, who played under Cummins' leadership during the domestic one-day tournament at the start of this year, was likewise full of support for his long-term teammate since junior-age carnivals.
One concern among those casting doubt on Cummins' credentials is whether the right-armer could manage tactically during his own spells.
Patterson noted his teammate "hit the nail on the head a lot of the time" in that regarding during the Blues' surge to the one-day title.
"He did a bloody good job," Patterson said.
"Especially with Test cricket, there's obviously a fair bit of anxiety that can float around the change room.
"He just takes that out of the room. He is a very calming presence, never overthinks anything or overreacts to situations when they do get tough.
"And he's going to have some good support around him in terms of the tactics."
Patterson added "there's probably not a lot of other batters there that are really putting their hand up to captain".
"Pat is a fantastic leader just with the way he acts," he said.
Australian Associated Press
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