WWith a federal election on the horizon, Australia can soon expect media fans to comb through the linguistic patterns of party communications, analyzing signs, slogans and subliminal messages for information. revealing about our leaders. Even though, as Richard Flanagan writes, âwords are mainly used to put us to sleep, not to wake us up,â this work generally tells us something about how campaigns and their leaders like to be seen.
If the specialists ran Pat Cummins’ words through the software, one word would prevail: “calm.” It was the first word he used to describe himself after becoming a captain. Speaking about Cummins a week earlier, his teammate James Pattinson used the same word. Explaining his response to Joe Root and Dawid Malan’s threatening partnership last week, Cummins said the team was “calm …[with] don’t panic. “Nathan Lyon has twice said Cummins was calm in the first test. Mike Hussey too, noting the” feeling of calm around the team. “Coach Justin Langer also called for calm.
The theme of Cummins’ leadership style is clear. This seems diametrically opposed to life under intense Langer before the procedure. And, unlike many of our elected leaders, the first test provided signs that Cummins is able to deliver on its promise.
Perhaps forgotten in the midst of the trails, ticket offices and routing was the glaring lack of carry-on baggage. In the past, spreading stumps on the first ball in the series at a foaming Gabba could have resulted in a bark bead. Some overzealous hair-raising among friends were as aggressive as they could get.
Later in the test, with frustration growing in proportion to the shadows as Joe Root and Dawid Malan fought, we heard no rambling under the cover of Marnus Labuschagne, forced “the spirit” behind the stumps or the mic. coincidentally got up to capture the two. Instead, we had newbie Alex Carey, whose presence imbued the kind of confidence and maturity a parent can hope for when meeting a newbie babysitter. Eight captures showed substance to support the optics. Carey just appears to be an adult.
Travis Head was bombarding all comers before being teleported and accepted Mark Wood’s apologies in good faith. Earlier, Cameron Green had apologized to his skipper for celebrating his first wicket too much. It all smacks of real humility, dare we say it. We will need more evidence to trust him.
Where was the problem? Where were the beards? Where were the little heists in play as opponents sighed, waiting for the cat to stop? Each example above is just a small thing and maybe it’s selective – the show fell victim to the Covid border wars, after all. Even so, while Cummins was firmly in the throes of his honeymoon as captain, it felt a bit like winning without the carry-on. More severe tests await you, et cetera.
Does Cummins really believe he can both win and let cricket do the talking? If so, he rejects decades of accepted national wisdom that he must drag out to be successful. Wave to many of the older generation during the first test media tasks, who waved this doctrinal flag with typical enthusiasm last week.
The most recent and blatant chapter in Shane Warne’s tedious vendetta against Mitchell Starc has been well covered. Elsewhere, one of Ian Chappell’s immediate responses to Travis Head’s scintillating and unexpected 100 games was to note that he still didn’t trust him. In a preview of the match, Ian Healy asked without irony where James Vince was and whether or not he had retired. The British reaction to their Australian program was both revealing and unsurprising.
But ultimately, Langer himself stole the show with his inferential search of Jack Leach. It happened a day after Australia played the English spinner out of the game, injuring him and England for the series. Leach suffered blow after blow before Root stopped him, as he was already dead. The cricket had made people talk, the effect was obvious, the comment useless. What did Cummins – who said last week, “I don’t think you need to go out and pick fightsâ¦ I firmly believe in focusing on our own game” – in a- did he feel? Seen from a distance, there is value in each of their comments, it’s just that they are so regularly delivered with one part of insight, three parts of contempt.
There isn’t a hashtag for it, but not all former players. Adam Gilchrist underlined his class, his humility and his seriousness by presenting Alex Carey his baggy green. Ricky Ponting offers the sharpest eye and the supernatural ability to call into the future. Others like Trent Copeland and Chris Rogers explain the game soberly, marrying their own gaming expertise with knowledge and research that is both current and communicable. Professional antagonism is not in the repertoire.
It seems that is also what Cummins wants to do. His manners echo those of former Wallabies captain John Eales – two unblemished physical specimens whose specialized skills made them unlikely, but inevitable captains. The headlines of the past week rang to the tune of “Perfect Pat.” John Eales was simply known as “Nobody” because Nobody is Perfect. Eales was composed, unperturbed. In partnership with trainer Rod Macqueen, they avoided conventional understanding of concepts like passion; Macqueen said that “passion is often an excuse for those who haven’t done their preparation … teams often know they are lacking in some way, but believe that by trying harder and being aggressive they will somehow win the game. ”
Cummins has already made it clear that he is not perfect, but Australia will be well served by a captain who is more sensitive to that line of thinking than the dominant philosophy of his predecessors.