Bengaluru: In-form Australian pacer Pat Cummins on Tuesday could not help but praise another fast bowler on the top of his game — Jasprit Bumrah, saying the Indian's pace and accuracy has made him a serious threat in all three formats.
Cummins has been Australia's standout fast bowler over the last 12 months and has even made some useful contributions with the bat, including in the first T20 against India in Vizag on Sunday, when he got a crucial four and a double off the final two balls to pull off a three wicket win for his team.
Bumrah, on the other hand, brought back India into the game by taking two wickets in the 19th over in which he conceded just two runs. In his comeback game, he showed how invaluable he has become for India in all three formats.
"He is obviously a class act. Two of the basics he does really well is that he bowls fast and he bowls accurately. Anyone who does that in world cricket will pose a real challenge for the batsmen. He has got a great slower ball, seems to have a great cricketing brain, executes his skills really well," Cummins said.
"He has done really well in all three formats and the one to watch out for, added the Aussie speedster ahead of the second and final T20 on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old from Sydney himself has become invaluable for his team after maintaining his fitness over the past two seasons. He did well in the home Test series against India though the hosts lost before blowing away Sri Lanka.
"I haven't seen too many memes (of myself on social media) but really happy with how my game is going at the moment. So many things have fallen into place. Playing quite consistent cricket has helped," Cummins said.
"I have not played too much white ball cricket, so looking forward to more of it. It is a bigger challenge with the ball not swinging as much as the red ball."
He has also been involved with some tense finishes including the one in the last game. Though he doesn't consider himself as a proper batsman yet, Cummins relishes the challenge of closing out games.
"I am pretty happy batting down at 8 or 9. I think my role in the team is just to survive and bat extra time. Hopefully, I have got a batsman at the other end who can really cash in, especially in Tests. I might have big shots like a lot of other batsmen, and I have really enjoyed it," he said.
"Anyway, you can't just prepare for a game as a bowler, you got to prepare for everything."
Talking about thriving in tense moments, Cummins said: "You play international sport because you want to be in moments where you can win a game. T20 is a great format, almost feels like every second or third, you are either in a position to win a game or the game is on the line.
"A lot of players off the field get terribly nervous watching but once you are out on the field, you know you are in control, you have done that in the past. I am more relaxed when I am out there, when I am in the moment."
Australia are a game away from a series win in India and if that happens, "it will be a huge result", feels Cummins.
"It (leading a series) has not happened for us in a while in an overseas series. Especially in a place like India which is so foreign to Australian conditions, against one of the best sides in the world. It will be a huge result for us, yeah. But we know will have to really play well to beat them tomorrow."
Cummins loved the bowler friendly conditions in Vizag but is expecting more runs from the surface at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
"It has been a funny wicket in the last couple of years. First time I came to Bangalore 7-8 years ago during the IPL, it was a 220 wicket. Over the years, it has slowed down," he said.
"Vizag was low scoring but a great game. Loved the surface there. In T20s you prepare for yorkers, slower balls, but over there you knew good balls were going to be good enough. The ball felt like swinging a little bit in the end," he added.
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