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ICC World Cup 2019 | Massive Change to Come on As First-Change Bowler: Pat Cummins

Source: AP Photo

Source: AP Photo

Australia are currently leading the points table in the ICC World Cup with seven wins in eight games and a big reason for their success has been their pace bowling attack led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Australia are currently leading the points table in the ICC World Cup with seven wins in eight games and a big reason for their success has been their pace bowling attack led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

The duo of Starc and Cummins have picked up 36 wickets between them so far, with Starc leading the way with 24 scalps in eight games with two five-wicket hauls. Cummins though is adjusting his game after being asked to come on as a ‘first-change’ bowler with Jason Behrendorff sharing the new ball with Starc in the last couple of games.

Cummins shared the new ball for Australia’s first six matches of the tournament. The upshot has been two big wins for Australia based largely on combined bowling performances, spearheaded by a rampant Starc.

Cummins’ numbers as a first-change bowler are less impressive than when he has the new ball in hand, suggesting the New South Welshman is perhaps a victim of his own versatility. In 26 innings bowling first change, he has taken 34 wickets at an average of 33.91, a strike-rate of 37.5 and an economy rate of 5.43.

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In the five-match series against India in March, Cummins took the new ball and dominated the series, producing 17 wickets at an average of 11.58, a strike-rate of 16.0 and an economy rate of 4.34.

“I think it’s a massive change," Cummins said told the media. “I think it’s a lot different to say red-ball cricket where the ball kind of stays hard and there might be some swing on offer.

“I think it’s kind of outside of those first eight to 10 overs, there is no swing, the ball is not as hard, normally the batters are set. It’s a bit of a different game … Jason and Starcy have been brilliant up front. My role is to just try and hold them a little bit and hopefully they take a risk. It (feels) like I have done that job pretty well,” the Australian pace bowler added.

While he has only taken one wicket from 14 overs as a first-change bowler, his ability to restrict England and New Zealand to a combined runs-per-over return of 3.92 has been highly impressive.

“The thing we have spoken about, we have managed to scrape home wins without really putting through a complete performance," the 26-year-old paceman said. “With each game, we have got a little bit better.

“England was obviously a great game on Tuesday and then the four (bowlers against NZ were) brilliant, we have bowled really well together,” Cummins added.​