Gun paceman Pat Cummins was happy to hear that current Test captain Tim Paine rated him as a prime contender to be Australia’s next Test captain, but feels the topic remains a moot point as long as the wicketkeeper is still playing for the national side.

Ever since the infamous ball-tampering scandal tainted the image of Australia’s national side, the cricket board (Cricket Australia) entrenched Paine to lead the side in Test cricket. He played a key role in the improvement of Australia’s off-field reputation and on-field performances.

However, the discussions about who should lead Australia whenever the 35-year-old retires have lately dominated all cricket cirlces around the world. The debate flared up this week after Steve Smith’s leadership ban got expired.

Earlier this week, Paine was diplomatic on Tuesday when asked who should be the next captain, noting there are “a number of guys we can choose from” then nominating Smith, Cummins, Travis Head, Alex Carey and Marnus Labuschagne”.

Former captain Michael Clarke has long been pushing for Cummins – the current vice-captain – to lead the national side.

“It’s nice to hear, (I) don’t think it makes me want it more or less. I’m glad being a vice-captain underneath him that I get that nod. He’s brilliant,” Cummins was quoted as saying by

“Like I’ve said a hundred times before, I kind of feel it’s not quite right talking about captaincy now when we’ve got someone like Painey and Finchy (limited-overs captain Aaron Finch) doing great jobs. We’ll see down the track, but at the moment it’s bit of a moot point.”

The 26-year-old Cummins, who has taken 143 wickets from 30 Tests since making his debut in 2011, is expected to top Cricket Australia’s contract list for 2020-21 whenever it is announced, underling his importance in Justin Langer’s team.

The 26-year-old has become the most resilient member of the attack after an injury-plagued start to his career. He was appointed one of Paine’s deputies last year, but currently has no captaincy experience at the domestic level.

“In the perfect world, your first experience of being captain – say Australian captain, you’ve (already) had quite a bit of experience leading and you know exactly what it entails,” he said.

“But things don’t always work out as exactly as you planned.”