Teenage fast bowling sensation Pat Cummins is taking full advantage of being fit again after a length spell due to injury, impressing Australian coach Mickey Arthur with his pace early in the Twenty20 World Cup tournament on now in Sri Lanka.
The Twenty20 format is proving to be the perfect arena for Cummins’ latest comeback, having been out for five months after his stunning man-of-the-match Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2011 only to pull a muscle in his next match, a One Day International against England at Lord’s in June this year.
A sharp spell in a Twenty20 World Cup warm-up match against Pakistan on September 10 which earned the Mount Riverview resident career-best figures of 3-15 left Arthur in no doubt the 19-year-old would be a key member of Australia’s pace attack once again.
“The best way to stop the (scoring) rate in Twenty20 cricket is by taking wickets, so you need guys who do something a little bit different — so you want those x-factor players,” Arthur told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“They (Cummins and fellow young fast bowler Mitchell Starc) have got a little bit of extra pace.”
While his bowling figures were on the expensive side in Australia’s first two games in the World Cup last week, Cummins’ bowled his full allotment of overs and displayed good pace and swing.
Only 29 runs were scored off his 24 deliveries in Australia’s big win against Ireland.
He faced higher quality batsmen last Sunday against the West Indies and returned figures of 1-41 of four overs, getting smashed for 18 runs off an over bowled to powerhouse Windies’ strokemaker Chris Gayle but completely bamboozling batsman Johnson Charles with swing for a maiden over.
Cummins’ wicket came when he found a way to get through Dwayne Bravo’s defences to bowl the dangerous batsman for 27.
Man-of-the-match honours in both games went to inspirational Australian opening batsman and all-rounder Shane Watson.
Cummins enjoyed two rest days with his teammates after defeating the Windies.
He is now hoping to work his way back into top form in Australia’s first game in the Super Eights part of the tournament this Friday in Colombo against a red-hot India, which thrashed reigning Twenty20 World Cup champions England by 90 runs it its last match.