Injured Australia pacer Cummins can't wait to get back on the field to pair up with India wrecker James Pattinson
At a very early stage of his career, fast bowling sensation Patrick Cummins has learnt that nothing in life can be taken for granted. Despite a spectacular Test debut at Johannesburg last November, where he took seven wickets, hit the winning runs and was the man-of-the-match, Cummins is not on the field with his mates, bowling to India's celebrating batting line-up. It was during that Johannesburg Test when Cummins hurt his left heel which effectively ruled him out of the entire Australian cricket season.
Patrick Cummins celebrates his first Test wicket at the Wanderers in
Johannesburg against SA on Nov 17, 2011. Pic/Getty Images
He has stopped looking too far into the future. Take Tim Paine for example. The Tasmanian wicketkeeper, popularly tipped as Brad Haddin's successor and next Australian captain, was recently told that his battered right index finger requires extensive bone-graft surgery. There are doubts if he will ever make a comeback to international cricket. Such is the harsh reality of an athlete's life.
Cummins was lurking about at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) parking lot during the tea interval on Day Three of the second Australia-India Test here yesterday. He spoke to MiD DAY.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
How is your recovery coming along?
I am getting there. I'm going through that process of rehabilitation at the moment. I'm feeling a lot better. Hopefully, I'll get back to bowling in a couple of weeks. I have just started running again. It's (comeback
to competitive cricket) still a long way.
You must be excited at the potential of bowling alongside James Pattinson...
I can't wait for that. He's unbelievable at the moment. He has shaken up a few players, hasn't he? After that dream start against New Zealand, he has just continued where he left off. If I was not down with injury, I'd be bowling with him at the moment. I am really excited to do that in the future. There are some exciting times to look forward to.
You reckon Pattinson and yourself have earned the responsibility of taking Australian cricket to the next generation...
There are plenty of good bowlers around. We both are still very young. Hopefully, we can keep playing together for a while for Australia. You know, anything can happen in sport. As you saw with my injury, it's difficult to take anything for granted. It's really exciting -- the prospect of bowling with Pattinson. It's a great opportunity for us to form a partnership and take lots of wickets for the country.
You must be disappointed at not being able to bowl to the Indian batsmen here...
Yeah, I was really looking forward to the series. It's frustrating not to be out there. The timing of the injury was really bad. I've grown up watching Sachin Tendulkar bat and want to bowl to him desperately.
You must be aware that Tendulkar had already hit a few centuries before you were born (Cummins was born on May 8, 1993 when Tendulkar had already scored 1,522 Test runs with five centuries) ....
(Laughs) Yeah, of course. I am aware of that. The same goes for (James) Pattinson I think. He's three years older than me (May 3, 1990) but Tendulkar started playing in 1989 if I am not mistaken. It is just amazing how he has managed to stick around for so long. I hope to bowl to him someday.
You have drawn comparisons with Glenn McGrath (same state, similar stature, hail from nearby villages)...
Oh, I am flattered if anyone would ever compare me with him. I just spoke to him (here at the SCG). He's a great guy, a great player. I can't find a better role model to look up to.
Wouldn't you rather focus just on Tests and stay away from limited-overs cricket? Many young bowlers have lost their rhythm and sting by playing too much one-day cricket...
I am not sure about that just yet. Hopefully, if you are good enough you can adjust to all formats. That's what we all hope for. Not just me, but any young fast bowler. We definitely acknowledge that Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game. Definitely, Test cricket is something that I would like to play more. I think there are enough people taking care of my workload and fitness. The injury was unfortunate. I don't want to miss too many Test matches in my career. I want to play as much as I can.