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In-form Cummins Insists on Not Taking New-ball Duties Over Starc

Twitter/ ICC

Twitter/ ICC

Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins has spoken out in support of teammate Mitchell Starc and said he is happy to play as the third bowler instead of taking over the new ball duties.

Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins has spoken out in support of teammate Mitchell Starc and said he is happy to play as the third bowler instead of taking over the new ball duties.

Starc, who did not have a good series against India finished with figures of 2/98 in the first Test against Sri Lanka, under-performed at a time in the game when he was expected to be at his most dangerous – with the new ball and under the lights.

“I feel like my role, coming in and hitting the deck, I do that pretty well and our openers do their job well as well,” Cummins was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“Starcy, when he’s on, you just feel like he’s going to rip through."

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Australia had been searching for a wicket and with Starc failing to provide the breakthrough, Cummins stepped up and did so in the final over of the day, before completing a five-wicket haul inside nine overs the next morning.

“The harder the ball is (the better), especially (on the second night) when conditions feel like it’s swinging around, I love to get the ball in my hand in those kinds of times," Cummins said.

“But overall, I think the new (ball) bowlers always do a great job.

“You saw in the Indian series, both Indian (openers) got dropped because we started off really well with the new ball.

“I think the good thing is he’s bowling really, really fast, so his rhythm mostly is there.

“I know he’s tried to change a couple of things up, trying to get his feet aligned, but he’s not far away.

“I think every training session he’s working on things, trying to get better, and I’d love for him just to get a couple of wickets and it click, because I really don’t think it’s far away."

Ace Australian pacer Brett Lee has suggested that Starc “lost his way" in his efforts to rediscover his lethal-self. Lee also seconded Cummins and believes that Starc is too good to be ignored.

“I would give Mitchell Starc a rest from bowling with the new ball," Lee said in Fox commentary during the Test.

“We know he’s a world-class bowler, it might be the kick up the backside he needs.

“The reason I love Mitchell Starc is I know what he can do.

“He can bowl at 155kph and swing the ball back and knock someone’s front pad off but at the moment, he’s lost his way a little bit.

“There’s a lot of people telling him how to bowl, they all mean well and I’ve been there many times … where you just lose your edge, whether it’s your action, whether you’re carrying an injury and also confidence, too.

“Sometimes your mind gets clouded."

Cummins also said that he insisted on debutant quick Jhye Richardson share the new-ball bowling duties, which eventually paid off as he bowled well and finished with figures of 5-45 from 27 overs.

“Jhye presents a beautiful seam … as soon as he came in (to the squad) I was saying, ‘He’s got a beautiful seam – he’s got to get the new rock’," Cummins added.

“So I’m pretty happy with (bowling first change).

“I’m always itching to get the ball in my hand but I’m happy to wait a few overs."

first published:January 28, 2019, 15:48 IST