Capt Khan showed bowlers can lead: Cummins

Zaheer Khan's leadership of the Delhi Capitals convinced Pat Cummins bowlers can make good captains.
Zaheer Khan's leadership of the Delhi Capitals convinced Pat Cummins bowlers can make good captains.

Pat Cummins gained valuable experience leading NSW's one-day side early this year, but it was the 2017 Indian Premier League season that helped him realise a fast bowler can thrive as captain.

Cummins has been appointed Australia's 47th men's Test captain, with the Ashes series starting in Brisbane on December 8 as his first assignment in charge.

No fast bowler has captained the side since Ray Lindwall during a single Test in 1956.

That trend has raised questions about whether Cummins will be able to juggle his own bowling workload and the tactical requirements of the job.

Cummins says he will utilise the wisdom of vice-captain Steve Smith and senior teammates as they seek to retain the urn without Tim Paine.

But he learned, under the mentorship of Delhi Capitals captain and swing king Zaheer Khan in 2017, that it is far from impossible to manage the workload.

"I really liked his work tactically around T20s. He was just fantastic," Cummins said.

"Just someone great to bounce bowling ideas off and it was even better that he was at the top of my mark, you know, helping me set fields and tactics.

"I saw pretty clearly there the benefits of it.

"I didn't see too many drawbacks.

"It's a different format, but I thought he was fantastic."

Cummins noted he was desperate for Smith, who led Australia in 34 Tests before being stripped of the captaincy, to be his right-hand man.

"There's a couple of more unknowns about having a bowling captain," the right-armer said.

"That's why from the outset I was absolutely determined if I was captain to have someone like Steve as vice-captain.

"I feel like I've got quite a lot of experience to draw on.

"A lot of the problems or potential issues around being a fast-bowling captain, I'm sure we'll be able to work through."

Australian Associated Press