Cummins leading Aussies out of the mire
The vice-captaincy has proven somewhat of a curse in recent months but everything points towards Pat Cummins being one of Australia's most important leaders at the World Cup.
Cummins, memorably described as a future Test captain by Michael Clarke last year, has excelled with ball and bat in the past 12 months.
Cummins' impressive leadership has been relatively unheralded but also vital in that stretch, during which the express paceman has been forced to step up after the catastrophic damage of the Cape Town cheating scandal.
"I think naturally (it has developed). Everything that happened makes you sit back and reflect on what is your role in the team and how you want to go about things," he said.
"Everyone has progressed a bit."
Admired by his peers and the public in equal measure, the current vice-captain looms as a key figure as Australia plot Steve Smith and David Warner's reintegration.
Smith and Warner's relationship with teammates was obviously damaged by things they said and did but Cummins has been strong in his support, publicly and privately.
The 25-year-old said seven months ago that "the way they've handled themselves has been incredibly impressive in pretty unprecedented circumstances" and he "can't wait to have them back".
Smith and Warner's return to the fold is likely to come at a World Cup training camp in Brisbane during early May, with Australia's on-field leaders expected to play a role in finalising the finer points of that formal process.
It's unclear who will be Aaron Finch's deputies at the World Cup; Cummins, Alex Carey, Mitch Marsh and Josh Hazlewood may all potentially be on deck.
Marsh and Hazlewood were preferred ahead of Cummins when Australia originally named dual Test vice-captains to replace Warner, with Carey joining them as fellow vice-captain in the coloured clothes.
Marsh and Hazlewood aren't currently in India, because of form and fitness respectively, while Carey was a shock omission from Australia's tour-opening Twenty20 victory.
Coach Justin Langer has sent a clear message that leadership titles mean nothing when it comes to selection.
"You pick the best XI first .... our core job is batting, bowling, keeping. You get picked on that," Cummins said.
"We've been really consistent with the captains, so there's clear leadership there.
"Vice-captains have a pretty similar role to what a lot of the senior players have. Nathan Lyon has been around for a while, he's a leader.
"Even if there's not a formal title I think everyone has to be a leader."
That will ring especially true in England for those members of Australia's triumphant 2015 World Cup squad who will be part of the title defence.
"Since the last World Cup I think we've got six or seven guys who have retired," Cummins said.
"With a lot of new people coming through the side ... it's up to a few of us other guys to step up."