'It all came together' says brilliant Cummins after putting Australia in command

By Sports Desk December 28, 2019

Pat Cummins felt it "all came together" as he claimed his first five-wicket Test haul in 11 months to put Australia in an almost unassailable position against New Zealand in Melbourne.

The home side ended day three of the second Test on 137-4 in their second innings, giving them a lead of 456 over the beleaguered tourists, who had earlier been dismissed for 148.

Cummins was the Black Caps' destroyer-in-chief with 5-28 in a wonderful display of fast bowling at the MCG.

It was his first five-for since January, when he took 6-23 to guide his team to victory against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.

He said: "I was happy with how it came out today. I feel like I've been bowling well, especially the last couple of games.

"Today it felt like it all came together and fortunately, yeah, a few nicks. But to be honest, I'm not really focused too much on the past, it's more what's ahead of me."

On a day of minor milestones, Cummins' removal of Henry Nicholls for a duck was also his first lbw in his last 70 scalps – although that statistic came as a surprise to the 26-year-old.

"Was it? First LB, wow. None in England? I probably should have bowled fuller," he joked.

"I feel like a lot of the wickets are caught behind the wicket. I feel like when the wicket is pretty true it's hard to attack the stumps sometimes. That's always a challenge, trying to get the ball in a position where you can get an LB or a bowled. But yeah, that's surprised me because we always talk about trying to hit the top of the bails and that kind of height, so thanks for that. I'll work on that!"

Cummins' heroics helped Australia establish a 319-run first-innings lead but he endorsed captain Tim Paine's decision not to enforce the follow-on.

"No, [I was] not that keen to bowl tonight," he added. "There's still two days left in the game so we're in no major rush.

"I hear the commentators and everyone talk about it a lot – [but] it's still a massive decision. When you're that far in front in the game, to give the other team a chance to get back into it.

"I think I bowled 17 overs, which isn't huge, but suddenly if we have to have another couple of days out there [in the field] that's basically one innings of bowling, 40 or 50 overs.

"[We will try to get] a good night's sleep, [and go] fresh at them tomorrow. Hopefully we can strike while we're a little bit fresher."

James Pattinson contributed 3-34 on his return to the Test side and Cummins was not surprised by his fellow quick's impact.

"We all know how good Jimmy is," he said.

"When you speak to guys playing Shield cricket or county cricket they speak of him as though he's one of the best bowlers in the world, and we all know that.

"To come out here in front of his home fans, rather than in Shield cricket, was great.

"We absolutely love having him in our team. He's a competitor and bowls 145 kilometres an hour, gets up for the challenge, and nips the ball around. So, he's a handful. [I am] Really happy for him."

Related items

  • Super Kings too strong for struggling Royals Super Kings too strong for struggling Royals

    Chennai Super Kings made it 12 wins in the past 15 Indian Premier League meetings with Rajasthan Royals as they eased to a 45-run triumph on Monday.

    Moeen Ali contributed with both bat and ball as the Super Kings proved far too strong for their opponents at the Wankhede Stadium.

    The Royals had prevailed in four of their previous five games at the Mumbai ground - including last time out against Delhi Capitals in a thriller - but fell away badly in reply to Chennai's total of 188-9.

    Jos Buttler provided the only innings of note from the top order in the run chase, making 49 from 35 deliveries with five fours and a pair of sixes.

    Rajasthan were in contention at 87-2 in their reply, but Buttler's departure - bowled by Ravindra Jadeja - sparked a collapse that saw five wickets fall for eight runs. They finished up on 143-9.

    Jadeja finished with 2-28 but fellow spinner Moeen was the pick of the attack, the England all-rounder taking 3-7 from his three overs having earlier made 26 in Chennai's innings.

    Faf du Plessis top-scored with 33 as all the top five reached double figures, while the Super Kings demonstrated their strength in depth when Dwayne Bravo made 20 not out from number nine in the order.


    Royals run into trouble

    Despite a miserable overall record, Rajasthan had won back-to-back matches against Chennai. However, they were unable to equal their longest winning run against them.

    Buttler did his best but there was little support from the rest of the top order, the Super Kings' spinners emphatically turning the game in their favour.

    All-round balance helps Chennai

    Moeen Ali is the only player to reach three figures for runs and also claim a wicket so far in the 2021 IPL season.

    His signing by the Super Kings in the auction appears an astute piece of business, particularly as the left-handed batsman has capitalised on his opportunities to bat up the order.

  • Hero CPL joins forces with Caribbean Cricket Podcast Hero CPL joins forces with Caribbean Cricket Podcast

    The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has joined forces with the Caribbean Cricket Podcast to bring even more engaging and entertaining content to their ever-growing social media following.

  • Amid financial challenges, CWI restores full salaries across the board Amid financial challenges, CWI restores full salaries across the board

    Despite admitting that their finances were in dire straits, President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has revealed that staff and players are now receiving their full salaries again after agreeing to a 50 per cent pay-cut last year.

    It was in July 2020, at the height of the COVID19 pandemic which left CWI facing a major loss of income in the absence of regular cricketing activities, that CWI enforced pay cuts across the board, but the president now said all salaries are back to normal, even if only temporarily.

    “The cut doesn’t exist at the moment…but let me just remind you (the cut) was part of the crisis management strategy,” he told Line & Length on Sportsmax over the weekend.

    “We had put in place what we had called a financial strategy advisory committee which was a small task force combined from our finance committee and our audit risk along with the compliance committee, the CEO (Johnny Grave) and myself.

    “The pandemic isn’t over but we have relaxed one of those conditions, which is we are back to full remuneration,” said the 64-year-old Kittitian.

    According to auditors KPMG, the Board’s financial records show that CWI’s liabilities exceeds assets and raised the “material uncertainty” about the sports organization’s ability to keep operating indefinitely.

    “We draw attention to Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, which describes that the group’s revenue is cyclical in nature and depends on the popularity of the various reciprocal tours undertaken by West Indies teams,” the independent auditor’s report said.

    “As at September 30, 2020, the group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by US$14,836,946 and its total liabilities exceeded its total assets by US$10,747,720.

    “These events or conditions, along with other matters as set forth in Note 2, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.”

    Skerritt, who was just handed another two-year term along with his vice president, Vincentian Dr Kishore Shallow, also indicated there were much better relations with stakeholders, players and staff over the last two years.

    “The whole process is to not distract players away from their focus on cricket as far as possible and doesn’t give any interventions or any intrusions from an administrative or management level that can cause the players any kind of distress or any kind of unnatural concerns to do with the environment they find themselves in whether on tour or not,” the CWI president said.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.