Australia head coach Justin Lager. @ Getty Images
Australia head coach Justin Lager. @ Getty Images

The system adopted by new Australia coach Justin Langer to appoint dual deputies Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood featured a player vote. Langer, who adopted the system after his experiences in the Australian Football League, explained that the process will prove to be beneficial should any sudden leadership vacuum arise.

“The system comes from AFL (Australian Football League) footy, and we used it in West Australian cricket last year,” Langer told cricket.com.au.

“I thought it was a really good idea, having spoken to some elite coaches like (former Australia hockey coach) Ric Charlesworth and (AFL premiership coach) Paul Roos about this whole concept of leadership over the last few years,” he added.

The appointment of Australia’s vice-captains comes after David Warner, who held the role previously, was suspended in the aftermath of the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town early this year. Warner along with tainted ex-skipper Steve Smith were served with 12-month suspensions, while Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia.

“Initially, there was probably a little bit of resistance because it’s not the way you usually do it in cricket. But we were in quite an unprecedented period, we have just lost the captain and vice-captain to suspension and leadership positions, or captaincy and vice-captaincy particularly probably came up when we weren’t expecting it. So, I got a really good feel from the group and they voted.”

Shedding further light on the system, Langer said: “My question was, ‘If you were the sole selector of Australia, who would you have as captain or vice-captain?’,” Langer.

“Then the next point was, ‘This isn’t a popularity contest, so why would they be a captain and vice-captain?’.”

In fact, Langer revealed that there were six players that topped the poll. They were then asked to prepare a presentation which stated their vision and approach to leadership.

“It’s been a really good process, there was six guys who we gave an opportunity to present their vision for Australian cricket and talk about their leadership quality,” he said.

“If nothing else, it’s brilliant for their leadership development and I talk often about growing leadership within the group organically.

“It doesn’t really matter what the title is, you want eleven leaders, and this was just one part of that, and there were some other guys who didn’t present to us who are equally as important in terms of leadership.

“Some of them have been around a lot longer; some of them might aspire to be a captain down the track, so I think overall the process has been excellent.”