One of the greats of the game Ricky Ponting sees leadership potential in Marnus Labuschagne whose rich vein of form continues since his heroics in Ashes.
Marnus struck gold after a surprise call up in the Ashes 2019 owing to Steve Smith's concussion scare and he made sure to make the most of the opportunity. His teammates have shared about his unwavering determination and his keenness to excel in the realm of improving his game.
The 25-year-old struck a staggering double-hundred against New Zealand in the ongoing third Test. He had a few opportunities to lead Queensland and so captaincy is not new to him.
Given the inconsistent performances from the incumbent captain Tim Paine, an extended poor run with the bat in 2020 could force him to hand over the captain's armband to one of his teammates.
On the other hand, Paine has no pain in continuing playing for Australia and expressed upbeat attitude ahead of New Zealand Tests.
Ponting has not wished for an immediate change in leadership but mulled the possibility of Marnus taking over the reins of the team if the circumstances demand.
"Paine hasn't really got age on his side but he probably had one of his best games for Australia last week in Melbourne," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
The middle-order batsman has got the limelight with his knack of piling up big runs and if he continues to maintain his dominance in the longer format, he could certainly become a contender for the coveted position.
"But 12 months down the track, I'll give Painey at least another 12 months.
"Yes, he's 35 but if you think of it in cricket terms he's still relatively young.
"With all the cricket that he's missed through his career with his finger issues, it's not like his body has given up on him or getting little injuries – he's as fit as anyone in that squad."
Ponting wants Paine to chip in with useful contributions with the bat to keep his spot in the side. He averages 31.58 in Tests with seven fifties after making his debut way back in 2010.
The batting genius has no qualms about Paine’s glovework but he expects him to up the ante and bat up the order.
"You've still got to keep yourself in the team.
"If you look at other teams around the world, that's the way wicket-keeping has gone. You have to be able to contribute with the bat.
"If you don't, the balance gets thrown out a little bit if you've got someone coming in at No.7 that's like a tailender it doesn’t give you great balance.
"I think it's important the keeper is scoring runs", said Ponting.