pat cummins
Pujara surprised me by religiously adhering to ‘bat long and bat slow’ approach, reveals Pat Cummins
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Pat Cummins revealed that he expected Cheteshwar Pujara to unsettle the bowlers by scoring a bit more quickly but admitted that he was surprised by how religiously the right-hander stuck to his approach. Cummins added that, for a bowler, there are pros and cons in bowling to a defensive player.After he scored three tons and served as a literal wall in the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia, in the initial part of the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, found a way to keep Cheteshwar Pujara ‘quiet’ but though the runs dried, they were not able to stop him from spending time at the crease and tiring the bowlers.Pujara batted at a snail-like pace everytime he strode out to bat, and his approach in the first innings of the Sydney Test, in particular, came under fire from fans and experts, who believed the right-hander was digging a grave by not upping the scoring rate. Yet unphased by the criticism, Pujara, remarkably, batted at an even slower pace as the series progressed, eventually finishing with a SR of 29.20, by some distance the slowest amongst all specialist batters in the series.Through the approach, Pujara sucked the energy out of the Australian seamers and none knows it better than Pat Cummins, who toiled harder than any other bowler in the series. Reflecting on the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Cummins revealed that he and the other Australian bowlers expected Pujara to try and put pressure on them by taking risks, but admitted that they were outwitted by the patience of the Saurashtra man.“It's interesting. After the first two games, in some ways, I thought he might have had to adapt to try to take the game on a little bit more and put pressure back on the bowlers. But if anything, he went the other way. He went, "No, I know my game so well, I'm going to just bat and bat and scoring will take care of itself" - whether it's down the other end or later in his innings,” Cummins told ESPN Cricinfo.“Maybe we set some tighter fields than we did a couple of years ago, but I felt like a lot of the time he was there just to face out the tough spells, bat and bat and bat, and in some ways selflessly take some overs out of the bowlers and the ball, with the hope that the lower middle order can cash in even if he doesn't.”Why Pujara’s approach irked many was because they felt the No.3 batsman, by adhering to a full-on defensive approach, was letting the bowlers grow in confidence by allowing them to bowl where they want. Cummins revealed that bowling to a batsman like Pujara is a double-edged sword - you have a bigger margin for error but, at the same time, you could end up bowling a day full of overs without any rewards.“I'd say in some ways it's true. With someone who doesn't look to take the game on, you feel like you can experiment a little bit more, maybe be a little more aggressive in bowling a touch fuller, try to swing the ball, play around with your crease position, knowing that if you're slightly off you're not going to get belted for four like you might against another batsman. “But on the flip side, if the batter's good enough to get through that and they can bat and bat, well it doesn't really matter what you bowl at them, you're going to have to bowl lots of overs. It really comes down to the fact that if he doesn't bat lots of time you feel great and love bowling to him. If he does, you go, okay, well, his method is obviously working.”Pujara scored 271 runs in the series, but none were more impressive than the 56 he accumulated in the final day of the Brisbane Test, where he refused to get out despite copping blows left, right and center. Cummins, who put in a shift and a half on that final day, revealed that he and his teammates expected Pujara to err after getting hit, but admitted that the resilience and the concentration powers of Pujara took them aback.“I'm not sure you change how you bowl, but it's incredibly rare that someone gets hit on his body and wears so many bruises without trying something. You hope if you keep doing that, maybe they're going to try to put their gloves up and you're going to get a catch that way, but he really stuck to his processes. It makes it hard if you know that short ball is there either to catch the gloves or to get them trying to hook. “You feel like you're getting closer to a wicket each time they cop a bruise, and like they're going to have to change their game and start fending or take the game on a bit more. So for someone to stay with their process the whole time, it does take the sting out of that short ball a bit.”One of Pujara’s biggest strengths is his soft hands, which helps him evade nicking the ball to the slip cordon, and the 32-year-old frustrated the Aussies throughout the course of the series by making the ball drop short of the slip cordon. Cummins claimed that Pujara has ‘pillow-like’ soft-hands and insisted that nicks from his bat falling short of the slip cordon is generally down to skill and not luck.“Oh absolutely, it's like a pillow. In the first innings at the Gabba, my first ball to him was a genuine nick. The ball before, I'd nicked off Shubman Gill and it was caught by Smithy above his head, and then the next ball bounced in front of Smithy. Just soft hands, plays it incredibly late, you can see why someone like that is so hard to dislodge, because there aren't edges flying to the slip cordon. He tries to put all the odds in his favour. “I think we've played long enough to know it's more skill than luck. But it does make you change, the slips do have to come forward a couple of steps because you aren't going to get those hard hands [where the ball flies] off the bat. It can be frustrating sometimes when you've got a brand new ball and it's still not carrying.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Overreaction Monday ft. Pant’s nervous nineties, Sachin Jr. in IPL and the Chepauk curator
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Day 4 of the India-England Test going on has meant that Monday has become a bearable day but, let’s be honest, the first day of the week always tends to suck, doesn’t it? We’ve tried to get over the blues by delving into some rather interesting mob opinion, including why Pant is not doing enough.Steve Smith bags the Allan Border Medal for the third time On Saturday, Steve Smith was declared the winner of the Allan Border Medal for the 2020-2021 season, with him pipping Pat Cummins by 12 votes. SC Take: Steve Smith winning the Allan Border Medal - i.e. being crowned the best player in Australia - seems equivalent to water being wet etc. but while this might have held true any other year, this year, however, it can’t be disputed that Pat Cummins was robbed of the award. Smith won the ‘ODI cricketer of the year’ award and that’s OK. He was exceptional right from the start of 2020 and capped it off with those twin 60-ball tons versus India. He deserved it. But to win the Allan Border Medal? Over Cummins? Ridiculous. 68% of all runs he scored in the voting period came in the SCG Test alone, and, barring that, he made no meaningful contributions in the longer format. What Cummins did in ODIs in the voting period - 15 wickets in 11 games - was far greater than what Smith managed to do in whites. But the real issue is why even bother awarding the AB Medal in a year where just four Tests were played? The disparity in the number of games played - ODIs and Tests - always meant that the player who dominated in limited-overs was going to be given precedence. In a year where just four Tests were played, the AB Medal is nothing but a mere extension of the “ODI cricketer of the year” award. Little surprise that Smith ended up winning both. The pre-IPL-auction shenanigansLeaks from player registrations for IPL 2021 auction have emerged and well, unsurprisingly, people have lost their mind - already.SC Take: There are times in the year when even the sanest of men turn into absolute maniacs and the fortnight prior to the IPL auction is one such phase. A couple of days ago, the list of players who have registered for the forthcoming auction emerged and people have started losing their mind already. There have been quite a few interesting opinions, so let's traverse through them. The first is the ‘common man’ on Twitter and Facebook being outraged over Arjun Tendulkar enrolling his name in the auction. You know, ‘nepotism bad noooooo’ and all that. It is truly absurd that people will not even let that poor lad register his name in the auction with peace - and that too for just 20 lakh. Gosh. He obviously is now officially a domestic cricketer (having played in SMAT) and he has EVERY RIGHT to enrol his name in the auction, like any other cricketer. When THIS guy has played in the IPL, is it a crime if Arjun - a proper professional cricketer - registers his name? Duh.Secondly, we have the annual meltdown over ‘base prices’. Kedar Jadhav has set his base price at 2 crore, and many cannot digest it. But really, why would he lower their price though? He is an IPL veteran and regardless of how bad he fared last year, he ‘could’ be an asset at INR 2 crore for any other side. He was on 8.40 crore for years, so obviously he’s going to look at earning at least 2 crore. And lastly, we have the Sreesanth discourse. Here it is two extremes - one lot which thinks he will invite no bidders and the other, which feels he’ll be a red-hot property. Unfortunately, things are not that ‘black and white’ in cricket - more so in life - so yeah, don’t be surprised if he’s just picked up for his base price or something. Rishabh Pant - how dare you score only 90?Rishabh Pant, on Sunday, was dismissed in the 90s yet again, but the cricketing fraternity is upset that he is not doing more.SC Take: Look, you can understand why this criticism exists in the first place. People are well aware of Pant’s batting talent so they think that he has it in him to score 150s and 200s. And this viewpoint is fine. But it is important to understand that he is, at the end of the day, a wicket-keeper batsman. He is not a specialist batsman. We need to tone down our expectations. The fact is that wicket-keepers, no matter how talented they are with the bat, should not be expected to be prolific. They should not be put under pressure to become run-machines.An impact is what they’re supposed to create and Pant is doing a job and a half right now. Even the greatest wicket-keeper batsman of all time, Adam Gilchrist, posted just three 150+ scores in his 96-Test career, and a remarkably talented batsman like Rizwan brought up his maiden Test ton only yesterday. Quinton de Kock has only 5 tons in Tests and no scores over 130. The fact that Pant is averaging 45 in Tests in itself is outrageous and we should be content with his returns. Why Pant is bearing the brunt is because of the ineptness of India’s #3 and #5 to score big. Pujara has not brought up three-figures at home in his last 13 innings and Rahane has only ever scored 90 or more at home 4 times (in 43 innings), which is remarkably just once more than Pant. Chastise them for not doing their job, not Pant for over-delivering. Fire the Chepauk curatorFans want the curator for the first Test between India and England to be fired because he prepared the worst pitch to have ever existed. SC Take: There is this dialogue from a Tamil film which goes, “Unaku vandha ratham, enaku vandha thakkali chutney ah?”. Translating it wouldn’t make sense but it basically refers to double standards. The aforementioned dialogue would hold true right now, to the Indian fans berating the curator. Y’all are just showcasing your double-standards.The fact is that every Indian pitch over the last four years has exactly been like this Chennai wicket, if not even flatter. In 2019 vs South Africa, India posted first innings scores of 502, 601 and 497. South Africa even responded with 431 in one of those games. I wonder why there were no complaints back then. Because India won, eh? Indian fans, you understandably have been taken aback by an opposition batting for 190 overs, but just because India did not win the toss and bat first - like they usually do - does not mean you blame the poor curator - for producing a proper Indian wicket. Instead, blame Virat for not winning the toss. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Steve Smith wins Allan Border Medal for third time; Pat Cummins Australian Test Player of the Year
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In the Australian Cricket Awards, Steven Smith won the Allan Border Medal while Beth Mooney was awarded the Belinda Clark Award for her amazing batting display last year. Smith also won the ODI Player of the Year for 2020 while Pat Cummins was awarded the Test Player of the Year award.Even though Steve Smith seemed scratchy with the bat in the recently-concluded Test series, before turning it around in Sydney, he had a fantastic limited-overs outing where he single-handedly put India to the task. That earned him the maximum vote for the Allan Border Medal where his 126 votes were the maximum with Pat Cummins securing 114 votes.As a matter of fact, this was Smith's third Allan Border Medal and he is now only behind Michael Clarke and Ricky Pointing, who both have won the Medal four times. Among other awards on the Australian Awards night, Smith won the Men's ODI Player of the Year after finishing the voting period with 568 runs at an average of 63.11. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins, who had a terrific summer and bowled with panache, bagged Men's Test Player of the Year. Recently against India, the New South Welshman took 21 wickets at an average of 20.04 that earned him the Player of the Series. Josh Hazlewood and Marnus Labuschagne took the second and third positions. On the other hand, Ashton Agar was named the Men's T20I Player of the Year, having taken 13 wickets at 12.46.Mooney claimed her maiden Belinda Clark Award as the Best Women's Cricketer of the Year while Meg Lanning and Georgia Wareham took the next two positions on the list. With Lanning, Alyssa Healy, and Ellyse Perry sharing the award between 2014 to 2020, Mooney's award is a change from norm in over seven years. Mooney scored 555 runs in internationals averaging 42.69 during the voting period and her 78 versus India in the final of the World T20 helped them win the World title.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Keen to take extra steps to be a decision-maker before full-time role, reckons Pat Cummins
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Pat Cummins, who has been slated to become the next Australian Test skipper, reckoned that he is keen to take the extra steps to be a decision-maker before getting the full-time role. He also added that right now he doesn’t have the experience, having captained odd games here and there.Despite making his debut as an 18-year-old, Pat Cummins had to wait for a long time before making his return to the Australian setup, following long spells of injury. However, that only made him, his stature much stronger as the pacer cemented his place in legacy with his bowling. Post his return, the Sydney-born pacer has also become World’s No.1 Test bowler, all on the back of his consistent displays all over the world. On top of that, his show and attitude has also made him a front-runner for the Test captaincy post Tim Paine’s era as the skipper of the side. However, Pat Cummins reckoned that he is keen to take the extra steps as the decision-maker before getting the full-time role as the Test captain of the country. "That'd probably be the biggest change, but whether that's a dealbreaker or not, I'd have to try it first I think. Naturally you try to stay pretty involved in a game, so always thinking about the game in the background. Just taking that extra step to be a decision-maker, it might be a small step or a big step, but keen to give it a crack and see how it goes,” Cummins told ESPNCricinfo. "Absolutely - at the moment I haven't got too much experience at all, just a couple of warm-up games in England and other than that it's Under-16s cricket when I last captained. So for sure it's something that's going to be more on the radar," Cummins added.Right now, the pacer insisted that he needs to start upping his game, on the look for taking the right decision. He added that in the future, he would definitely want to have a crack at finding out whether he would be the right fit as the Test skipper. In a country where skippers are dominated by batsmen, Cummins belongs to the rarer of breeds, with Geoff Lawson the last real pace-candidate for leadership duties. "Even to increase my experience as vice-captain if I ever need to step in or help out Painey or Finchy, I think it is something I'd like to have a crack at to find out either way, whether I enjoy it, whether I'm no good at it or whether I find it manageable.""I think that would be the big one, at times, just the nature of not having to totally switch on, you take the opportunity to switch off," he concluded.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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