Boxing Day Test: Pat Cummins shows the Australian team how to bat

Updated: Dec 30, 2018, 08:06 IST | Gaurav Joshi

Australia welcome tailender Pat's aggression and obduracy that fetches him an unbeaten 61 to stretch Melbourne Test to Day Five

Boxing Day Test: Pat Cummins shows the Australian team how to bat
Pat Cummins en route his unbeaten 61 on Day Four of the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images

Pat Cummins is a cricket tragic. Recently, he was asked on the Cricket Unfiltered podcast about his ideal date night. His response: "Fine dining in front of the TV, watching cricket."

Over the last four days, he showed how much he loves the game by spending each ounce of his energy trying to keep Australia afloat in the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. At first, he had to overcome the disappointment of constantly beating the outside edge of Indian batsmen and then he twice resurrected the Australian innings, batting at No. 8. In the first innings, he batted for 48 balls, but it was his unbeaten knock of 61 on Saturday that ensured the match dragged into the final day.

Series of short balls
The Indian bowlers tried to ruffle him with a series of short balls. A couple of them rapped him on the gloves, while a few missed his helmet. There were a few that he somehow managed to keep down by taking his bottom hand off the bat. Like a proper batsman, Cummins trusted his technique and got through those initial moments.

Slowly, he started to look more comfortable and drove some bad balls. There was the odd waft outside off-stump, but he always got behind the ball and showed great
defiance.

Trusting your game
Along the way, he lost skipper Tim Paine, the last of the recognised batsmen, but at no stage was it a licence to put the foot on the pedal and start swinging wildly. He trusted his own game and also his partners. Cleverly, he rotated the strike and every time a scoring opportunity beckoned, he made sure he cashed in. Importantly, he showed patience, something his top-order teammates can learn from.

There was the element of concentration as well. He had spent two days on the field and then had to dig deep with the bat. Despite all the toil, he kept presenting the straight bat and repelling the Indian attack. He brought up his half-century with a sweetly-timed cover drive. Cummins's 50 was greeted with the loudest applause of the day and he deserved the accolades.

As stumps loomed, he finished the day with two imperious drives off Ishant Sharma.

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