Mount Riverview teenager Pat Cummins’s injury-plagued body is back in top condition after coming through unscathed in six straight games for Australia in this month’s Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
So when the Gazette asked him on Monday what he got most out of the tournament, the answer made perfect sense.
“The first thing is just games,” Cummins said.
“It was the first time in 12 months that I have played a high volume of games, even if it was just Twenty20s (where players can only bowl a maximum of four overs).
“And the experience to play against the best in the world is a big test on all us bowlers as there are no holes in any team’s batting line up.
“I also think bowling in T20s will help my ‘bowling at the death’ in One-Day International matches.”
The 19-year-old right arm fast bowler finished his comeback tournament with Australia’s fifth best bowling figures (six wickets for 197 runs with an economy rate of 8.2).
Although expensive at times, he played an important role in the bowling attack in Australia’s four wins and one loss leading up to the semi-final showdown on October 5 against eventual champions the West Indies.
Cummins said his most memorable moment of the World Cup was Australia’s win against India, a match where he took 2 for 16 off four overs, dismissing star Indian batsmen Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
“That win in the Super Eights round was brilliant.
“They (India) are such a big nation and play a lot of T20s, so for us to beat them convincingly gave us great confidence and meant we only had to win one out of the next two matches to make the semi-final.”
Australia was almost blown out of contention at the halfway point of its semi-final by a devastating batting performance by big hitting West Indian opening batsman Chris Gayle who finished on 75 not out after facing just 41 balls.
The Windies set Australia a formidable target of 206 but it could have been a lot worse had Cummins not topped the Aussies’ wicket count with two scalps for 36 runs off his four overs, including bowling Marlon Samuels when he was on 26 and removing Dwayne Bravo on 37.
In reply the only top order Aussie batsman to shine under pressure was captain George Bailey with 63 runs.
Cummins got the third highest score, 13 runs, as the Australians were bowled out for just 131 in the 17th over.
With a fit and healthy body, Cummins is wasting no time building up his game time ahead of the Australian summer of cricket, which includes a Test series against South Africa.
“Hopefully I can play through the whole summer and come out the other end,” Cummins said.
“After missing a lot last season, I am just keen to play and if that is for Australia then its a bonus.
“I have never played for Australia on home soil so that will be unreal if I get that chance this year.
“I am off to South Africa now for the T20 Club Championships with the Sydney Sixers which will be a great tournament and we have a strong side.
“At this year’s Big Bash League I am playing for the Perth Scorchers.
“I can’t wait to play at the WACA ground (in Perth) and to be part of this exciting competition.”