Ind vs Aus 1st Test: Right-arm fast bowler Pat Cummins wants the typical Australian pace and bounce on pitches during the upcoming Test series against India after the Aussie bowling attack had struggled in the Melbourne and Sydney Tests during the last home series against Virat Kohli’s men.
The 2018-19 series began well for Australian bowlers in the first two Tests in Adelaide and Perth as they managed to dismiss India all four times. However, they found it hard to decode the Indian batting on dead tracks in Melbourne and Sydney even though the Indian pace attack succeeded.
“First of all (I like to see) a fair balance between bat and ball. I don’t think a Test match, where a team can go on and bat and get 600 runs, is good viewing for anyone. So hopefully it is a fair contest. Obviously here in Australia we want some kind of our own conditions that reflect Australia. I think the best Test matches here are when there is pace and bounce in the wickets. Adelaide Oval here has been a really good wicket every time I have played. That is what I will be asking for. Yeah, bit of pace and bounce, hopefully a bit of spin for (Nathon)Lyon too,” said Cummins on Friday on being asked during a media interaction if he would want more pace and bounce in Sydney and Melbourne than the Australian bowlers got when India were last here.
Australia will be looking to target Cheteshwar Pujara who scored three centuries the last time and was largely responsible for India registering their maiden Test series win Down Under.
Pujara, however, found the going tough in the first warm-up game despite a gritty fifty in first innings. He was caught at leg gully after being attacked by short deliveries during the first innings’ half-century and then was bowled by a beautiful, outswinging delivery in the second innings by Michael Neser. Cummins said the dismissals would have provided skipper Tim Paine, who was also playing that practice game, an idea.
“Saw the highlights. Spoke to Neser not (about) that particular ball (that dismissed Pujara) but just in general any thoughts on what he got out of the game and how he was going. Looks like he bowled really well and obviously Painey (Paine), right behind him, has a good eye over all of it. There are a few things we picked up and little areas, more reminders not having played Test cricket against them for a couple of years. It was good to chat with him. It was a ripping ball. If he gets to bowl it this summer I will be very happy,” said Cummins from Adelaide.
The 27-year-old said that they have not made any specific plans as of now against Pujara but added that they would be better prepared this time.
“We haven’t really spoken yet (about plans against Pujara). We only got into the camp a couple of days ago so I am sure we will sit down and have a couple of meetings…The bowlers we are talking to each other and come out with some plans but like always it is really important I concentrate on what I do as a bowler and same for the other guys. Of course you might tweak your plan slightly for a certain batter but hopefully couple of years on we all are better-equipped as bowlers and see what happens,” Cummins added.
The fast bowler also dismissed concerns about Will Pucovski being vulnerable against short-pitched stuff and having a history of concussion-related problems will trigger a bouncer war between the two sides. Pucovski was hit on the head by Kartik Tyagi during the first warm-up game and has been forced to miss the second warm-up which started Friday. However, Cummins warned that if it breaks out, the Aussie bowlers will be up for the challenge.
“I don’t think (it will be a problem) for Will who has been here for a couple of years and after scoring two double centuries back-to-back, I think he can handle that pretty well. If that (a bouncer war) happens good luck. Us bowlers will worry about what we want to do. Of course here in Australia with slightly bouncier wickets, we’ll be trying to push the batter back, so we’ll see what happens but I can’t see it being too much of a headline grabber this summer,” said Cummins.