SL vs AUS 2022 | Need to be brave and have proactive approach, asserts Pat Cummins

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Pat Cummins has placed focus on taking the game to the opposition and being proactive against Sri Lanka in the ongoing series, as preparation for a crucial tour of India next year. The Australian captain went on to praise the likes of Cameron Green for the aggressive brand of cricket.

Pat Cummins has become the latest cricketer to emphasize on approaching Test cricket with a high tempo rather than let the game get to them. Australia are currently on a tour of Sri Lanka, having already played three T20Is and five ODIs. While the hosts edged Cummins’ men 3-2 in the 50-over format, the visitors managed to eke out the T20I series 2-1.

In the first Test, however, there was no real contest. The team from Down Under took just three days to emphatically thump Sri Lanka, taking the lead with one match to go. Skipper Pat Cummins feels such victories are necessary to take the team forward towards the top spot, especially given the four Test series that awaits in India in 2023.

“We have a big series next year in India, so this can really help develop and fast track our batters… if you want to be the number one Test team in the world you’ve got to be winning overseas. A couple of big words we were using about our approach was being proactive and being brave. You saw some really clear methods from all the batters. They might have been individually a bit different, but you saw everyone being really proactive and putting the pressure right back on their bowlers,” Cummins was quoted saying by The Indian Express.

After they bowled out Sri Lanka for 212 in the first innings in Galle, Australia took just 70 overs to post a commanding total of 321. It proved to be too much for the Lions, as they crumbled for 113 in the second innings, leaving Pat Cummins pleased.

“That’s the really pleasing thing – it’s something you talk more about in one-day cricket or T20 cricket but that’s the style over here that’s needed,” he remarked.

The star of the showcase was young all-rounder Cameron Green. Already a veteran of 13 Tests, the 23-year-old tallied a handsome 77 while striking at a rate above 70. Cummins was quick to praise Green’s approach to the game. 

“He’s always been a fast learner but that’s even surprised us how fast he’s learnt out there. From ball one, (he’s been) really sharp (with) a really clear method. It’s a credit to him and the coaches how they’ve worked over the last couple of weeks. Speaking to some of the older guys as well (to) find his method, and then just being brave enough to try it … that was the difference in the end,” he revealed.

The other batsmen that impressed were Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey. The former scored a patient 71, while the latter took just 47 deliveries for a fast paced 45. The skipper himself chipped in with a flamboyant 26 off just 18 balls, putting into practice his philosophy of maintaining a high-tempo. The match panned out very differently to the recent series in Pakistan, where all three Tests saw high scores and low strike rates.

“It’s about managing the tempo, but the tempo is going to be quite different to Pakistan,” he explained.

“When we’re on top of the game it’s about keeping that lead and running with it. But if it feels like things are moving faster than we want to, it’s about wrestling it back,” said Cummins. “That proactiveness (is important), rather than it being a grind. You’ve got to be on the front foot here, you’ve got to be scoring runs and ticking over the scoring rate because if you’re not moving anywhere here (then) you’re pretty vulnerable.”

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