“At this stage, probably yes,” Hazlewood said if this move now made him first-choice behind Cummins. “It’s hard to say, I’m a fast bowler, and I’ll probably be missing games here and there as well.
“We’ve obviously got [Steven] Smith, who was vice-captain tonight, and down the chain, there’s another couple in the leadership group. So there’s plenty of options there and I felt even out in the middle there were a number of senior players I could talk to and get their opinions.”
At the toss, Hazlewood had spoken of a “wider leadership group”, with Cummins himself saying when he took the job that he believed a broader collection of captains could work in ODIs in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup in India.
“Test cricket is a different story,” Hazlewood said after the match. “There’s one captain and it’s his team, whereas the one-dayers and T20s you’ve often got a different looking group and a different looking senior group. I think it’s a good model, and I think it’s working so far.”
Hazlewood admitted to taking a little while to settle in the field – his first two overs conceded 21 – and reckoned he would have to go back to school cricket for his last time captaining a side.
“It was pretty exciting first of all and a little bit nerve-wracking,” he said. “But once we got into a stride on the field, it was good fun. I certainly enjoyed it, and it was a bit of a challenge there while that partnership was going and then we got a couple of wickets and that set the game up.
“I was thinking about everyone else’s bowling rather than my own at the start but got into a groove there. And then everything seemed to flow pretty well. But all in all, you leave it up to the bowlers. They know the delivery they want to bowl and they own their field and they own their result as well. So there weren’t any times I had to step in at all or argue, so it was smooth sailing.”
“I don’t expect Pat to play every one-day game in the lead up to the World Cup,” selection chair George Bailey had said when Cummins was announced ODI captain. “We’ve got a number of players within the group who can assume the leadership should they need to. So I expect we might see two or three guys taking the leadership at some stage.
“We are moving away from this concept of a captain taking over and their leadership being all encompassing. It’s very much a collaboration at times.”
However, the future of Australia’s T20I captaincy remains up in the air. Finch has said he won’t make a decision on his career until after the BBL, but he is not expected to continue through the 2024 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.