Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne
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Australia's vice-captain Pat Cummins will get his first taste of captaincy in professional cricket as he was named New South Wales captain for the upcoming Marsh Cup.
The decision to promote Cummins to the captaincy of the 50-over side came following discussions by the Board of Cricket NSW. Cummins had been promoted to Australian vice-captain without any captaincy experience at domestic level and said he was eager to take any captaincy opportunity he could get to build some experience.
The view at Cricket NSW Board level was conveyed to the Jaques and the NSW selectors who made the decision to appoint him for the Marsh Cup.
Cummins takes over from Blues skipper Peter Nevill, who will remain as the Blues Sheffield Shield captain, and will lead a star-studded side, which includes former Australia skipper Steven Smith and Sydney Sixers two-time title-winning captain Moises Henriques in the shortened five-match 50-over domestic competition.
Warner is still recovering from the groin injury that he suffered earlier in the summer and attempted to play through during the Test series against India. He is unavailable for the Blues Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield clashes in Sydney next week.
Starc and Hazlewood have been left out of the Blues 13-man Marsh Cup squad with coach Phil Jacques confirming that both were being managed in preparation for the Shield game against Victoria starting two days later while Cummins will be rested for the Shield game after making his captaincy debut.
"It's simply to do with managing our fast bowlers," Jacques said. "We have a very hectic first three Sheffield Shield and One Day matches, so we have had to devise individual plans for them because it's a lot of games in a short period of time."
"Pat is a highly respected person throughout Australian cricket, and he knows the values NSW cricket and the Blues hold dearly," Jaques said.
"We have no doubt he'll prove to be a fantastic leader and I know he will also be a great role model for all Blues players.
"Captaining NSW in these matches is a really good opportunity for Pat to not only demonstrate how good a leader he is, but it's a chance to show he also has the tactical nous to be a really good captain."
Nevill will remain the Blues Shield captain having led them to a title last year but he has been left out of the Marsh Cup squad altogether with Matthew Gilkes set to take the gloves.
"Peter has led the side terrifically well over the last few years," Jaques said. "He has a fantastic record as leader of NSW in the Sheffield Shield, and we're really excited about Peter continuing to lead the team - hopefully, to another title."
Cricket Australia announced on Wednesday the new domestic schedule for the remainder of the summer. There were no Marsh Cup games held prior to the BBL. Each state will play each other once with the top teams playing off in the final on April 11.
NSW Marsh Cup squad vs Victoria: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Liam Hatcher, Matthew Gilkes, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Steve Smith
NSW Sheffield Shield squad vs VictoriaPeter Nevill (c), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Steve Smith, Daniel Solway, Mitchell Starc