Pat Cummins, Australia Vice-Captain, admits there’s a chance he may not always find a place in Australia’s playing XI during the T20 World Cup with questions remaining over how they will balance their side ahead of their first match against South Africa.
When Australia went to No. 1 in the T20I rankings in 2020, their success had been based around an attack of five specialist bowlers – a structure head coach Justin Langer has been a supporter of since his days at Perth Scorchers – but they have switched this strategy with that of an extra allrounder during this year.
Australia have not had their “A” team together for their last four series, during which they have won just five and lost 13 matches.
Cummins, who has taken 37 T20I wickets at 20.62 and an economy rate of 6.93, is one of four frontline pacers in the Australia squad alongside Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson. Hazlewood has pressed his claims in recent months with success in the West Indies and Bangladesh followed by an impressive IPL performance with Chennai Super Kings.
Team comes first – Pat Cummins
“We have six, seven, eight guys right at the top of their game in our squad from a bowling point of view, so I’m sure that will be worked out,” Cummins said. “The conversation around our T20 side in the last little bit has been around whether we play the five bowlers or we play four and rely on the allrounders. We’ll see how it plays, it might change from game to game.
“There’s a possibility for anyone [to miss out], it’s a World Cup, [it’s] what is best for the team. I want to play so we’ll see what happens…someone is going to miss out.
“We made it really clear it’s a squad mentality. I know in 2015 [the ODI World Cup] I felt I could still give a lot even when I wasn’t in the XI. We are trying to instill that in everyone. There might be four quicks trying to fit into two or three [spots] but it’s five [group] games so you still might get a chance.”
Within the camp, there’s real confidence – Cummins
“We knew match practice was going to be tough in the current climate so before I came I did quite a few centre-wicket practices with New South Wales,” he said. “I was going flat-out for the last month knowing we might not get a heap of game time before the World Cup starts. I feel really good.”
Australia’s practice match results have been a close win over New Zealand and a heavy defeat to India. They do not go into the tournament as one of the fancied teams as they seek to win the T20 World Cup for the first time, and there are worries over the form of David Warner.
“You look around the room and we have some of the best players in the world,” Cummins said. “Everyone is fit, everyone is ready to go. Within the camp there’s a real confidence.”