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‘Josh Hazlewood was joking’: Pat Cummins trashes claims of Australia manipulating England exit

‘Josh Hazlewood was joking’: Pat Cummins trashes claims of Australia manipulating England exit

The focus for Australia now is to maintain their winning form and secure a strong position in the next stage of the tournament, with the controversy surrounding net run rate manipulation put firmly to bed.

Australia star Pat Cummins has firmly shut down any talk of manipulating their net run rate to knock rivals England out of the T20 World Cup.

Debate ignited by Josh Hazlewood

The debate sparked after teammate Josh Hazlewood suggested it would be in Australia’s “best interest” to strategically win their match against Scotland by a specific margin to influence the qualification picture.

This statement from Hazlewood came well before England’s dominant win over Oman which resulted in a massive increase in Three Lions’ net run rate.

However, Pat Cummins insists such tactics were never a serious consideration and that Australia will always strive for victory regardless of the opponent.

“We play to win every time,” Cummins told reporters. “Anything less wouldn’t be in the spirit of the game.”

Josh Hazlewood not serious: Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins further added that Hazlewood’s comments were taken out of context and that he was joking.

“I was speaking to Joshy, who had a bit of a joke about it the other day, and think it got taken a little bit out of context. We’ll go there and just try and play Scotland who have had a really good tournament so far and will be tough. It’s [net run rate] something you kind of discuss as one of the quirks of the set-up but in terms of does it change the way we play, absolutely not.”

“I’ve never stepped into the field without the mindset of trying to take the game on and be aggressive, like the guys have so far.”

Focus on Australia vs Scotland

With England’s fate secured, Australia now turn their attention to their upcoming match against Scotland. Cummins highlighted their opponent’s impressive tournament so far and stressed the team’s focus on pure competition.

The win against Namibia has also opened the door for Australia to potentially rotate their squad and give playing time to fringe players like Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, and Ashton Agar. This strategy could see key players like Mitchell Starc return after a slight calf issue, while Cummins himself expects a full workload moving forward.

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No resting in Super Eight

Despite the potential for rotation now, Pat Cummins anticipates a full-strength Australian line-up once they reach the Super Eight stage. The demanding schedule of five games in ten days won’t faze the experienced team accustomed to the rigors of Test cricket.

We’re all used to playing back-to-back games,” Cummins said. “It’s just about managing rest and recovery, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

The focus for Australia now is to maintain their winning form and secure a strong position in the next stage of the tournament, with the controversy surrounding net run rate manipulation put firmly to bed.

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