Pat Cummins has promised Australia will compete for the Ashes “with a smile on our face” under his leadership.
Cummins was elevated to the captaincy after predecessor Tim Paine’s shock departure from the role last month, with the wicketkeeper undone by revelations of a historic sexting scandal.
Paine himself was unexpectedly drafted for the prestigious job in the aftermath of the Cape Town ball tampering scandal that temporarily brought down Steve Smith and David Warner, but his early claims to virtue had already started to ring hollow by the time he was compelled to resign.
Cummins, on the other hand, appears to boast an unimpeachable manner with his warm manner proving no barrier to his status as a world class pace bowler.
And, speaking on the eve of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba, he laid out a blueprint for how the side should conduct themselves on his watch.
“When I stay relaxed I play my best cricket, most people play their best when they’re relaxed,” he said.
“I want to make sure everyone does what they do best and don’t get caught up in too much unneeded fighting. You don’t need to go out looking to pick a fight.
“We have a lot of fun and enjoy our cricket but we’re relentless when we get our chance. We’ll do it with a smile on our face.
“I’m big believer in concentrating on our own game and making sure that’s in order, not getting too caught up in what the opposition is doing. Hopefully I’ll keep sticking to that and I’ll be encouraging my team-mates to do that – it’s Test cricket so there’s going to be some heated moments but we’ll keep it in check.
“The last few years has put everyone on notice, so I don’t think you’ll see too many people getting out of line.”
Paine has taken a break from the game following the revelations about his exchanges with a former employee of Cricket Tasmania, but Cummins revealed the 36-year-old was still able to have some input on the series he had hoped to play a leading role in.
“It’s been good to chat (to him). He still wishes he was up here and part of it all but he needs to be home,” said Cummins.
“I’ll keep leaning on him for ideas on how to work with our players, he’s got great experience and he’s a great guy who I’ll keep learning off.”