Pat Cummins picked his ‘World Test XI’ and included as many as four Indians - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah - but interestingly omitted Australia’s kryptonite, Cheteshwar Pujara. Cummins also overlooked Ravichandran Ashwin, with Lyon being the lone spinner in his side.
For three years Cheteshwar Pujara has been Australia’s kryptonite, and the Saurashtra batsman has master-minded not one but two series wins, through sheer patience. In both the 2018/19 and the 2020/21 tours, Pujara deflated the Australian seamers by dead-batting balls endlessly, and the right-hander’s impregnable defence even led to Pat Cummins, the number one bowler in the world, claiming that Pujara was among the most difficult customers in the world. However, despite all the praise, Cummins overlooked Pujara while naming his ‘World Test XI’.
In an interview with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz, Cummins was asked to pick the best Test XI in the world, and, interestingly, the 28-year-old’s side had no place for Pujara.
David Warner and Rohit Sharma, widely regarded as the two best all-format openers in the world, made it to the 28-year-old’s XI as the openers, while the number three spot was occupied by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Cummins, interestingly, gave his former skipper Steve Smith the bragging rights for the No.4 slot, while putting his nemesis Virat Kohli in at No.5.
There were no surprises at No.6 and No.7 as the positions were occupied by the best all-rounder and the best wicket-keeper batsman in the world respectively - Ben Stokes and Rishabh Pant - while Cummins put himself in at No.8 for the ‘bowling all-rounder’ slot. Nathan Lyon surprisingly got the nod over Ashwin in the XI, while the Australian picked the deadly duo of Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah to compliment him in the side.
Cummins’ World Test XI: David Warner, Rohit Sharma, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah