Australia recently announced their ODI squad for the three-match series scheduled to take place in India next year. A lot of changes were made to the limited-overs side that last turned out in the World Cup semi-final loss to England in July but one striking feature of the squad was the appointment of two vice-captains in the team – Alex Carey and Pat Cummins.
This interesting policy to name two vice-captains in the side to assist the skipper, was first adopted by the Australian selectors in September 2018 during the series against Pakistan in the UAE. They did so on the advice of incumbent head coach Justin Langer, who was inspired by such a system in place in the sport of Australian Rules Football.
Langer had insisted such a policy would reduce the burden on the team’s captain and help share the leadership responsibilities without pinning their hopes on a sole person for direction.
“We believe the new leadership model will best support the captain. It is a successful model used across various sporting codes wound the world,” Australia chief selector Trevor Hohns had said when he announced Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Marsh as the two Test vice-captains last year.
It is pertinent to note here that such a policy has never been introduced before in cricket and Australia continues to be the only side in the world to persist with this strategy.