Kolkata Knight Riders’ Pat Cummins, who was purchased for INR 15.50 crore last year, admitted that the auction value adds a ‘different kind of pressure’ but insisted that players will need to learn to handle the same. Cummins finished the 2020 edition with 12 wickets at an ER of 7.86.
Few would have raised eyebrows had Pat Cummins been purchased for INR 15.50 crore in this year’s IPL auction, but the Australian was not so lucky last time around as there was immense scrutiny on him for being purchased for a then-record fee. He initially felt the heat but then picked himself up in no time and ended the season strongly, picking 12 wickets at an ER of 7.86.
Retained by the Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2021, Cummins will have quite a few 15-crore buddies this time around, but that will by no means reduce the burden of expectations that will be on his shoulders. Speaking to the KKR website, the Aussie speedster insisted that every player will constantly be under pressure whilst playing professional cricket, and said that the IPL auction price adds a mere different sub-plot to the whole equation.
"Whenever you play professional cricket anywhere, there will be lots of pressure. If you are coming off a good game, there is pressure to do it again, if you are coming off a bad game, there is pressure to perform," Cummins told KKR's official website.
"I guess the auction bring another kind of pressure. We just got to try and manage this. Just because you have gone for more money doesn't mean, the ball suddenly swings more or the wicket is suddenly greener, or the boundaries are bigger."
The 27-year-old, last season, grew from strength to strength as the tournament progressed and saved his best for the last, producing a Man of the Match performance in KKR’s last group game of the season versus the Royals. The right-armer said that he only likes to focus on things, that he can control.
"It's the same playing field, so, I just try to concentrate on what I do well. I guess that's what is going to bring about the best success for KKR while I'm here," Cummins said.
When the Knight Riders purchased Cummins last season, it was a reunion for the Aussie speedster, who’d played a total of 4 games for the franchise in 2014 and 2015. Cummins reminisced those memories and claimed that the initial experience made him keen to return to the league.
"I have amazing memories. My first experience of playing with players outside Australia, my first taste of the IPL. I watched quite a bit of it on TV and yeah I loved it. "It's hard bowling here in India or in the UAE. The wickets are different to the ones in Australia, the grounds are smaller. So, you got to learn and find different ways. We have had some amazing people around the team to learn from.
"I got the whole couple of months to spend with Jacques Kallis. Loved that experience, made me hungry for more.”
KKR will play their first game of IPL 2021 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on April 11.