Australia skipper Pat Cummins would prefers to be a little undercooked heading into the World Test Championship final against India rather than playing two months of T20 cricket.
The captain disagreed when asked if the majority of the Australian team (save Cameron Green, David Warner in IPL and Marnus Labuschagne in County cricket), would be a bit rusty with virtually no game time since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“Breaks are rare to come by,” said Cummins, who has 217 Test wickets from 49 matches. “I have always said, with six Test matches (including five in the Ashes), it is better to be slightly underdone than overdone. I am talking from a bower’s point of view. So I want to be physically fresh.”
“Back home, we did lot of training. We have trained hard, rejuvenated and refreshed and are keen,” Cummins brushed aside talks of rustiness during ICC’s ‘Afternoon with Test Legends’ event at The Oval.
Cummins mentioned, that he is confident that his team has enough bowlers to take advantage of the conditions, describing the track as a good one with a lot of bounce.
“You need to know your moments to push for wickets. We need to get 20 wickets and there is no point trying everything in the first innings. We have plenty of bowlers to be used at different times,” Cummins said.
In the last 50 years, Australia have only won two Test matches at The Oval, and their overall win percentage at the South London ground is just 14%.
“Our playing group hasn’t played too many of those 50 Tests. We have played few Ashes games, most of us. Few guys have scored runs and bowlers have had some pace and bounce. So it should be good,” the skipper said.
Cummins felt that his team has really turned the corner during this cycle of WTC after missing the bus last time.
In fact, he admitted that till they “missed out” on playing the final in the inaugural championship cycle in 2021, they haven’t really spoken about it.
“That (missing the final) has been the driving force behind the team and we deserve to play the final,” he said.
He stated that if any team gave them the most push, it would have to be the Indian team, which has won consecutive series in Australia.
“I think at home we have been pretty formidable and only (beaten) by Rohit’s team (Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s team) in last couple of tours… we have been troubled. Everyone is hitting their grooves and some are at back (end) of (their) careers and at top of their games,” Cummins said.
(With inputs from PTI)