Australian test captain Tim Paine now has joint lieutenants in Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood, at the end of a formal examination of the vice-captaincy which sought to avoid the continuation of a long pattern of failed leadership duos that included the banned Steven . Smith and David Warner.
While Hazlewood has been a constant member of the testing team since debuting in the first test as Smith's captain, in 2014 against India, Marsh's career has been speckled with injuries and shoddy attacks. At the same time, the demands of fast bowling and CA management policies will mean that Hazlewood will not be able to compete in every game. However, his selections represent an evolution in one of the most controversial roles of the Australian cricket.
Where Smith and Warner were simply recommended by the selectors to the Cricket Australia board in 2015, despite the objections of numerous prominent Australian cricket figures, Marsh and Hazlewood had been first introduced by their Australian teammates. . They then made leadership presentations to a seven-person panel, with selector Greg Chappell, director Mark Taylor, coach Justin Langer, president David Peever, chairman of the selection committee Trevor Hohns, psychologist Michael Lloyd and manager team performance Pat Howard.
The process was similar to that used by Langer in Western Australia to make the decision to name Marsh as the state captain last year, although Hohns struggled to make it clear that he had not been devised to anoint the next captain. Rather, the main CA figures wanted to make sure that the chosen players supported as much of Captain Paine as possible, something that could not be said of previous difficult duels, such as Michael Clarke's with Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson with Clarke and Warner with Smith
"Justin Langer and Tim Paine have a clear vision for the testing team, and Josh and Mitch are invested and ready to support the coach and captain on this trip," said Hohns. "And this was a fundamental part of the process – it was not a process designed to find the next captain of the Australian test, but to find two vice-captains who will support and help advance the team's goals and objectives."
"Josh and Mitch He shows excellent leadership qualities, and we were very impressed by his passion and energy to help guide Australian cricket in this new and exciting era. Our vision is to create great cricket players and great people, and we are extremely fortunate to have such fabulous young men with the responsibility of upholding the high standards and values that we and the Australian cricket fans expect from their testing team.
"Josh has proven to be a leader among the play group, and we felt it was important to have a representative of the bowling team, he is calm under pressure, communicates well and leads by example on and off the field. Mitch has successfully captained Australia A, Australia U19 and Western Australia, he is an extremely popular member of the team, he is very humble and, given his lineage, understands and respects the responsibility involved in representing Australia and the Australians. "
Langer is board director of the West Coast Eagles AFL club, and much of his leadership learning has been based on sports beyond the scope of cricket. "We believe that the new leadership model will better support the captain," said Hohns. "It's a successful model used in various sports codes around the world, and we see that it benefits the group, not only from a tactical perspective, but also to help drive the values and standards of the team on and off the field."
"We also feel that the new model provides a great balance. There is a strong and even representation of the batting and bowling groups, which is important when making decisions that are the best for the team. The demands on the modern cricketer were also factors that we took into account, including the amount of cricket they play in a season, to what happens in the event that a member of the leadership group is missing due to injury.
"We look forward to the first Test against Pakistan, and we will see with great interest how our leaders lead the team in what will be a great summer of cricket."
With Hazlewood currently in a rehabilitation plan to recover from an injury in time for the local international season, Marsh is Paine's understudy on the field in Dubai, before two Tests against Pakistan. "I had a meeting with Cracker, JL and Michael Lloyd in a room here at the hotel, and they gave me the good news," he said. "I am very proud, we have gone through this process in recent months as a team, and for my teammates to vote for me and Josh in this position, I am very proud, and hopefully, I will do justice to the job.
"It's something different for cricket, but that's the way it is these days, we live in the modern world and in the modern game of cricket. Josh and I will do everything we can to make Tim Paine's life easier, that's how I see the role of the vice-captain. Like everyone else on this team, we will do the best we can in Australian cricket and make Tim Paine's job as easy as possible. "
In his presentation, Marsh said he had stated that all members of the Australian the team needed to be a leader, regardless of whether or not they had a title attached to their name. "The most important thing of which we have spoken as a team at this time, and I even said it in my presentation to the board, is Having a title next to my name or not, is really irrelevant, "he said. I want to be the best person, the best Australian cricketer and leader that I can be for this group and for the entire organization.
"That's something that we want every cricketer to be on the Australian cricket team, and hopefully, I'll be able to instill that into the young boys that come in, which means being an Australian cricketer and what we represent to move forward, yes it is different, but it is 2018, and for us as a group, I thought it was really A good process for where we are at this moment, I feel here as the vice-captain and very proud.
"We went through the exact same process with WA. I certainly grew as a leader in the last 12 months for WA, I learned about myself and my leadership. But I love to captain WA, probably my greatest strength is that he has not changed me as a person, and I certainly do not see the role of vice captain changing me as a person, I will be the same guy in the whole team that took me to the position, and I think that it's really important, that's leadership in my opinion. "
Candidates for leadership in Australia's ODI and Twenty20 teams also showed up to the panel, including Aaron Finch, Alex Carey and Travis Head. from the limited teams until they announce that the Twenty20 squad will face Pakistan in a series of clashes after the two Tests.