What’s happened to Pat Cummins’ batting?
Two summers ago, the paceman made a mockery Australia’s top order by pummelling 63 in the second innings against India at the MCG.
He was the only Australian player to pass 50 in that Test match, and cricket pundits began questioning whether he should be classified as an all-rounder.
Former Test spinner Kerry O’Keeffe recently claimed Cummins had the most reliable forward defence in the Australian Test team.
But since that classy knock in Melbourne, Cummins has endured a pitiful two years with the bat at Test level.
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Since January 2019, he has averaged 9.31 in the game’s longest format with an underwhelming strike rate of 30.41.
Even the other members of Australia’s bowling cartel have shown more resistance with the bat in hand. During that same period, Mitchell Starc has averaged 34.12, Nathan Lyon has averaged 11.85 and tailender Josh Hazlewood has averaged 11.50.
Understandably, many cricket fans have questioned whether Cummins to slide down the batting order.
Pat Cummins of Australia.Source:Getty Images
AVERAGE FOR NO. 8 TEST BATSMEN SINCE JANUARY 2019
Jason Holder (WI) – 43.55
Yasir Shah (PAK) – 23.81
Sam Curran (ENG) – 18.25
Vernon Philander (RSA) – 15.20
Pat Cummins (AUS) – 10.15
* Minimum eight Test innings
Cummins was cracking consecutive sixes off superstar paceman Jasprit Bumrah in the Indian Premier League three months ago.
But when he puts on the Australian whites, he doesn’t seem capable of replicating that form.
On day two of the Gabba Test, Cummins missed a straight delivery from Indian seamer Shardul Thakar and was plumb LBW for two.
Meanwhile, Starc compiled a patient 20 not out before running out of partners in Australia’s first innings.
Should Starc bat ahead of Cummins?
Why does Cummins bat above these two ?
Nicely bowled, but was that basically missing a straight delivery?#AUSvIND
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It’s difficult to criticise Cummins when his bowling has been nothing short of impeccable since he returned to Test cricket in 2017.
He’s rightfully ranked as the world’s No. 1 Test bowler, and his career figures rival some of the modern greats.
The New South Welshman even snared Australia’s first breakthrough at the Gabba on Saturday, removing Indian opener Shubman Gill with his second delivery of the match.
But considering Cummins has five first-class half-centuries to his name, there’s certainly room for improvement while wielding the willow.
SLOWEST STRIKE RATE FOR AUSTRALIA SINCE JANUARY 2019
Pat Cummins – 30.41
Tim Paine – 49.01
Josh Hazlewood – 51.49
Travis Head – 52.01
Joe Burns – 52.61
Steve Smith – 52.81
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