Josh Halewood    Getty Images
Josh Halewood Getty Images

Melbourne [Australia]: Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood has said that he and his fellow bowlers are `open` to take up the vice-captaincy role, with the country’s cricket board mulling over the players for the vacant position in the Test team. Recently, Tim Paine and Aaron Finch were named as Australia’s new ODI and T20I captain, respectively for the upcoming tours to England and Zimbabwe, in the absence of banned former skipper Steve Smith.

While Finch has also been confirmed as Paine’s deputy for the five-match ODI series in the United Kingdom, wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey has been promoted as the vice-captain for a one-off T20I in England and a T20I tri-series in Zimbabwe.

Though Paine was already confirmed as Smith’s successor in the longest format of the game, the national selectors have still got enough time to name his deputy with no Test cricket to be held until October.

With bowlers being named captains have been rarity in Australia, Hazlewood argued that he could not see any reason as to why a bowler could not be selected as the vice-captain of the Test side.

“The bowling attack is steady and we’ve all pretty much cemented our spots in the team.I think leadership comes pretty naturally to me. Even over the last couple of years, it’s become a very different team to when I started and I’ve become a leader pretty early on in my career,” quoted Hazlewood, as saying. Hazlewood, however, insisted that he would continue to act as a leader regardless of who is eventually given the vacant position.

“Whether the VC title is next to our name isn’t going to change too much with how we go about things as a bowling unit working with Painey . but we’re obviously open to it and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

It should be recalled that no specialist bowler has led Australia in the longest format of the game since spinner Richie Benuad, who led the national side over 50 years ago.

However, the side’s new vice-captain is not expected to be named by Cricket Australia for few months, with their next Test assignment only coming in during their trip to the United States when they play against Pakistan ahead of the Australian summer.