Pat Cummins has stated that Australia, with the return of Smith and Warner and the addition of Marnus Labuschagne, will be better equipped to face India’s challenge in the Border-Gavaskar trophy later this year. The pacer has also insisted on the importance of dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara early.
The 2018/19 tour of Australia was a groundbreaking one for the Indians, for it saw them breach Aussie territory and win a Test series Down Under for the first time in their history. Team India, led by Virat Kohli, downed the Aussies in both Adelaide and Melbourne in 2018/19 to claim the series 2-1, but now the World Test Championship (WTC) means that the two sides are set to go head-to-head once again in the Aussie territory, potentially fighting it out for a place in the final of the Test championship.
Pat Cummins, who was Australia’s only shining light in the series against India two years ago, however, believes that the Kangaroos will be better prepared and equipped for India’s challenge this time around, with the addition of David Warner, Steve Smith and the emergence of Marnus Labuschagne providing a massive boost to the side.
"I think we'll be ready for them this time. Everyone's a little more experienced this time because obviously we've got a couple of class batters back in the side and someone like Marnus (Labuschagne) has played a bit more and done brilliantly. So I feel like we're in a better position," Cummins was quoted as saying by Times of India.
In the 2018/19 tour, Australia’s hopes were single-handedly shattered by one man, Cheteshwar Pujara, who accumulated an astounding 521 runs in the series to wear out a full-strength Aussie bowling attack. Cummins, who was at the receiving end of Pujara’s ‘patient’ knocks in 2018, stated that the Aussies, this time around, will have no option but to outlast Pujara to have any chance of winning the series.
"He (Pujara) had a mammoth series for them (in 2018-19). He's one of those players that'll take his time, he's in his own little bubble and he doesn't get disturbed by too much.
"We've got to find a way to outlast him if he bats the way he did last time. There wasn't too much in the pitch so you couldn't manufacture anything. So I think (we need to) take our medicine a bit more and try and outlast him."
The 2018/19 series, except for Perth where Australia won, saw the pitches suiting India’s style of play, with them being slow and low, but the 27-year-old pacer is hopeful of the wickets suiting Australia this time around and expressed his desire in wanting to bowl on tracks with a bit more bounce.
"We'll wait and see. Hopefully, the wickets are a bit bouncier (and) we've got a few more options," the world’s number one bowler concluded.
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