Aaron Finch seemed to be the first T20I captain in Australia to take the format as seriously as other countries were and it showed with his fantastic record and most importantly World Cup win in 2021.
With him having led the side more than 70 times it's not going to be easy to find a replacement who is on his level. And if anyone listened in as he was mic'd up during the BBL you will know the skill that he brought to that position and importantly how naturally it came.
In his 76 matches as T20I skipper the Australians won 40 losing 32 with 1 tie and three no-result matches. Australia also increased the batting average under the captaincy of Finch with positive win-loss records against all countries apart from England, India and New Zealand.
Whoever takes the reigns for the next period will be leading Australia to a World Cup in the Caribbean and for the first time the USA. That should be the focus, there can be no time for short-term planning, and everything needs to be focused on regaining the World Cup in 2024.
The following are five candidates who all have an argument to put forward regarding the T20 captaincy of Australia.
1) Pat Cummins
It would just make sense that Cummins steps into the captaincy role. After all, he already captains both other formats very well and is a natural leader. Having a three-format captain breeds consistency and with this being the Cummins-McDonald era it would only make sense to have him lead this side to the Caribbean.
Then there are always the questions of his own T20 form. He looks for his best in this format and was dropped from the KKR squad during the last IPL. He's also not getting any younger and with two years till the next World Cup perhaps he should be focusing on the mountain of cricket in other formats he still has to play.
2) Ashton Turner
Some suggested Australia should send the Scorchers to the next World Cup, that seems a bit far but Turner is one that certainly should be in the mix. He's now won two BBL titles in a row as skipper and importantly has shown his ability to stand up in the big moments scoring half-centuries in both of those finals. He knows how to win and leads from the front while still being relatively quiet allowing the stars to shine.
The issue of course is that he's not on the T20 side and hasn't been since his last match against Bangladesh in 2021. At 30 he's young enough but having played just 18 matches for his country while averaging 12 at a strike rate of 80 there are serious questions about whether Turner can perform at the international level.
3) Glenn Maxwell
With David Warner not able to captain Australia Maxwell is the obvious experienced candidate for the job. His position in the side is a lock for 2024, he's one of Australia's best in the format and with his Test career all but finished he can focus solely on the T20 game ahead of 2024. He's captained matches in the IPL as well as being the Stars captain and is a pure cricket nuffy which is exactly what you need in the shortest form.
Cricket Australia has however been hesitant to give Maxwell any leadership positions in the national side. Whether the leadership would affect his batting is unknown and certainly something to consider but Maxwell has to be one of the favourites for this spot.
4) Mitch Marsh
He's been Australia's most in-form batter over the last couple of years averaging 32 while also chipping in with handy overs. He certainly fits the new big-hitting style that Ayustraalia looks to be using and batting at number three is of course Australia's traditional captaincy position. And of course, as we saw in the Test documentary he is extremely well-liked amongst the playing group.
Of course with any Marsh but specifically Mitch the issue is injuries. He's currently out injured, missed out on the entire BBL and won't be going to India for the Test series where he probably would have got a game if fit. With plenty of leadership experience he's a good candidate but do the negatives outweigh the positives?
5) Travis Head
The final contender is another who is coming from outside the T20 setup at the moment. He's younger than most on this list and has been the Vice Captain of Australia's white ball and red ball teams in the past. He replaces Finch at the top of the order seamlessly and of course, has captaincy experience in the Big Bash and both in England.
With Head becoming more and more a mainstay in the Test setup there will of course be questions about workloads. Head's average of 26 at a strike rate of 133 is also nothing to write home about from his 16 innings. But if Australia is looking at Head as the next Test captain as many have posited then this is an appointment that makes a lot of sense.
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