Pat Cummins' massive confession in Steve Smith captaincy theory

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·Sports Editor
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Pat Cummins and Steve Smith, pictured here in action during the Ashes.
Pat Cummins has admitted Steve Smith does a lot of captaining while Australia is in the field. Image: Getty

Even when he was banned from captaining Australia, many believed Steve Smith was still pulling some strings while in the field.

He was often spotted changing fields and offering advice to then-captain Tim Paine.

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So it's no surprise to hear Pat Cummins admit that Smith does a lot of the captaincy now that he has been reinstalled as Test vice-captain.

Cummins was handed the reins on the eve of the Ashes series against England after Paine stepped away from cricket when a sexting saga became public.

Smith was then made vice-captain following a long hiatus from a leadership position for his role in the 2018 ball tampering scandal.

In a dream series debut as captain, Cummins finished as a 4-0 Ashes winner and topped the wicket tally with 21 despite missing the second Test in Adelaide.

One of the major concerns about having Cummins as captain was whether or not he'd be able to fulfil his duties and keep up his incredible bowling.

But Australia's thumping victory in the Ashes is proof that we needn't worry.

"That was probably my biggest worry in accepting the role as captain," Cummins said on Sunday night after Australia's win in the fifth Test in Hobart.

"I'm in the team as a bowler. I want to make sure that's protected and I'm able to perform as well as I'd like.

"I think with each game, I felt better at managing that."

Pat Cummins' big reveal about Steve Smith

Cummins revealed how he has leant on Smith to set fields and said he was able to "switch off" as captain when bowling.

"I could really ... take off the captain's hat and just be a bowler for my overs," he said.

"Even little things around bowling changes, setting fields in between overs. As I felt like I got better at managing that as the series went on.

"That's a hugely pleasing thing. Again, it might be difficult in the heat for longer innings.

"But I feel like it's something I'm only going to get better at."

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith, pictured here during the fifth Ashes Test.
Pat Cummins chats to Steve Smith as they leave the field during the fifth Ashes Test. (Photo by Mark Kolbe - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Cummins has previously said he doesn't see himself captaining for the remainder of his career.

"For sure, there's more scrutiny. But in terms of the actual role on the field, and conversations around the change room and those kinds of things, it is manageable," he said after taking match figures of 7-87 at Bellerive Oval.

"It's probably not as all-encompassing as I perhaps might have thought when I first took it on.

"But again, I think the biggest challenge is going to be ahead.

"We're lucky. We live in an age where we've got incredible support staff around who take a lot of those stresses out of what a traditional captain might have had around strategy, man management, those kinds of things."

with AAP

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