After playing in a three-match series against Zimbabwe, right-handed hitter Aaron Finch made the decision to leave the ODI format earlier this month. Finch has recently struggled in this specific format, so his choice cannot be viewed as a great surprise. Australia is now searching for a new ODI captain as a result of his retirement, and former skipper Ricky Ponting thinks that Pat Cummins would lead the team in the 50-over format. “I think it’ll be Pat Cummins, to be honest. I know he doesn’t play all the ODIs for obvious reasons, because his workload in Test cricket has been, like all the fast bowlers, very high in the last few years,” Ponting said on the ICC Review. “I know they are very conscious of making sure that they’ve got Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Mitchell) Starc a 100 percent fit and healthy for the big Test series to come around. But look, I’ll be surprised if it wasn’t Pat Cummins,” he added.
Due to their involvement in the 2018 Cape Town Test’s Sandpaper Gate (ball-tampering controversy) against South Africa, Cricket Australia suspended Steve Smith and David Warner from leadership roles. “I’m just basing this on what’s happened with Steve Smith – he is now the Test vice-captain again, having been the captain and really at the centre of the whole controversy in Cape Town,” Ponting said. “He is now the Test vice-captain, which means obviously that if Pat Cummins ever misses a Test, then Steve Smith is going to be the captain of Australia again in Test match cricket. So, if that’s the case, and all being even and reasonably fair, then I think it would be OK, as far as I’m concerned, for David Warner to have his name (in the ring). Not saying that they have to make him captain, but he should be able to be in the conversation,” he added.
When asked about the retirement decision of Finch, Ponting said: “I wasn’t surprised actually. I sort of personally felt that he was probably one game away or one failure away from getting dropped anyway. That’s how bad his last 12 months have been in one-day international cricket.” “I think it was the right time. I actually thought it was really noble, what he said as well, that stepping down when he did, it gives the next captain a reasonable time leading in to get themselves and his team ready for the next World Cup,” he added. In his 146 ODI appearances over the course of his career, Finch averaged 38.89 runs at the plate. His total of 17 ODI hundreds ranks third among Australian players.