Sydney: Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins said he had “every confidence” Australia’s top batsmen would return to form following an underwhelming first two Tests against India.
With the series level at 1-1 heading into the third Test in Sydney, Cummins parried talk of crisis and said batters like Steve Smith — who was named Test player of the decade this week, but has managed just 10 runs in the first two games — would rediscover their touch.
“Absolutely no stress,” Cummins said. “They’ll come good. Steve’s been champion for a dozen years or so, so absolutely no stress at all. Every batter, every player, goes through ups and downs and the great ones find a way to get back, so yeah absolutely no stress that they’ll come good, I’m sure.”
Australia won the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets after India suffered their worst ever Test collapse, scoring just 36 in their second innings. But it was India who won by eight wickets in the second Test in Melbourne as their injury-depleted attack twice dismissed Australia cheaply.
With some commentators proposing wholesale changes to Australia’s top order going into the Sydney Test, Cummins said there was no panic in the camp.
“It’s only been two Test matches,” he said. “It’s too small a sample size to say people need to change the way they go about things.It was only 12 months ago that our batters absolutely dominated” against Pakistan and New Zealand, added Cummins.
He said the return of opener David Warner — who is back in training after missing the first two Tests with a groin injury — would be a “huge boost”. Cummins said Indian opener Shubman Gill is a calm character and looked quite settled in the first Test.
Gill scored 45 (65 balls) and an unbeaten 35 (36 balls) in the first Test as he played his natural game, going after the bowling even as he survived a few dropped catches as well as some outstanding deliveries.
“Shubi looked good. You know he is quite a calm character, doesn’t seem too much fazed, looked quite settled in the first Test. Looked similar to the way he plays, wants to take the game on when the bowlers provide opportunities. Some days they come off, some days they don’t,” said Cummins while speaking to the media on Wednesday.
Cummins added that the Australians have been lucky to have got Cheteshwar Pujara out quite early in the four innings of the two Test matches without the batsman being able to build his innings. The Aussie bowler, however, said they haven’t had any specific plan which is different from the last time. The India No. 3 has aggregated 63 in four innings at an average of 15.75.