Hazlewood unsure if multi-format quick could be ODI captain

Josh Hazlewood believes it would make for more stability if Australia’s next ODI captain was available for as many matches of the format as possible rather than regularly switching between leaders.
Hazlewood has previously been vice-captain of the Test side and is a now an integral part of the ODI and T20I teams, after an outstanding 18 months in white-ball cricket, but said he had given no thought to the potential of following Pat Cummins‘ path into captaincy to replace Aaron Finch.

Cummins has been linked to the ODI job and on Tuesday did not rule it out but said workloads would need to be managed. If, as seems likely, Finch finishes his T20I career as well after the World Cup, Australia will need new captains in two formats. David Warner’s captaincy ban is set to be reviewed by Cricket Australia which would open the door for him finishing his international career in charge, while Steven Smith is another candidate along with Alex Carey for the one-day side.

“With the quicks we are probably going to rest here and there so it’s not like Patty with the Tests playing every game, hopefully barring injury, [we will] probably use those moments in white-ball to rest,” Hazlewood said at the launch of Australia’s T20 World Cup kit. “That could create a reshuffle of captaincy and vice-captain all the time so you probably want someone there who is stable and playing every game, makes it a lot easier I think.”

Finch will not be easy to replace as a captain, but Hazlewood was confident the transition could be managed because most of the Australia side are now senior players at international level.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Finchy, the bowling attack has been pretty similar for however long he’s been captain really,” he said. “We know each other really well and [he’s] pulling the strings out there on the field, discussions with the strategy teams and coaches.

“Think all the teams feel they are quite senior and there are a lot of guys who take leadership upon themselves in the middle when they were doing their skill. There’s quite a lot of experience and think it will be quite easy for the next captain to come in and seamlessly transition.”

While Finch has been constantly backed heading into the T20 World Cup title defence, if he does not score runs during Australia’s lead-up – which begins with three matches in India next week followed by series against West Indies and England – his form will continue to hang over the team, particularly amid the ongoing discussion over how Tim David fits into the side, assuming all the first-choice players overcome their various injuries.
However, Glenn Maxwell said that what Finch brings as captain is a crucial part of the T20 side and also praised the way his personal struggles with the bat had not impacted him in the field during recent weeks.

“Think we saw it a lot least year in the UAE, thought he was outstanding with our whole bowling group, brilliant with the strategy side of it and the way he keeps the group nice and calm,” Maxwell said. “It’s a very underrated thing in T20 cricket, you think it’s all helter-skelter…but he’s really good tactically, don’t discount his value as captain.

“Once he gets out on the field and takes control of the team he’s just so focused on the job and almost forgets about what’s happened earlier in the day or what he has to do later. He’s been able to focus on the job in hand really well. That’s a credit to him.

“Obviously it wasn’t the easiest time over the last little bit in one-day cricket, but his attitude never changed and the professionalism he brought to the team was brilliant. We are very thankful, when he took over the job it was a pretty tough time and he took care of the group and got them out the other side. We are all really proud the way he led us.”

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