Friday, 20 May 2022

Pat Cummins gives Australia hope after dark day in Dhaka

Pat Cummins

DHAKA: The first Test in Dhaka has shown that as long as Australia have Pat Cummins spearheading the attack, they will present a formidable force in the home Ashes summer.

There is a certain irony to the fact that after years of injury setbacks, Cummins is the only member of Australia’s feared pace quartet that is 100 per cent fit three months out from England’s arrival.

Josh Hazlewood suffered a side injury on day three, Mitchell Starc is at home still recovering from his foot problem and James Pattinson was scratched from this tour because he wasn’t quite 100 per cent right.

At this stage there’s no reason to panic about any of them – Starc and Pattinson at least appear on track and on Hazlewood there’s no updated diagnosis – but part of the reason Australia feel so confident they can blaze down England’s door is the super form of Cummins.

If they can unleash all four speed demons for the first Test at the Gabba as they’ve flagged, it would be an added bonus.

For the 23-year-old whiz kid, it’s been worth the wait, and coach Darren Lehmann and the selectors deserve credit for how they’ve managed Cummins’ return.

At some point Cummins just had to play – and much to Australia’s relief, he has looked stronger and stronger every time he’s taken the field.

In oppressive heat in Dhaka, Cummins exploded out of the blocks to take three wickets on the opening morning, and then on day three he kept defying fatigue to send the set-Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal for 78 packing with an absolute brute of a delivery.

ome of the things Cummins has been able to do on slow, flat decks in India and Bangladesh this year should have England terrified about what he’s capable of once he gets his first taste of Test cricket at home.

Cummins in full flight at the Gabba on day one of an Ashes Test will be an awesome sight.

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