Fresh & rested, Cummins gears up for rivalry with Kohli

Fresh and rested from a part of the white-ball series against India, Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins has said he is ready to take on Virat Kohli in the first Test of the upcoming four-match series to be played at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.

“I am happy I don’t have to bowl to Steve Smith. That’s great. And I saw Kane Williamson’s double hundred. Pretty glad I am not playing there (in New Zealand against Williamson). I think when you are in the moment, you may be try to lift a little bit. You sense a big wicket when someone walks out there. Normally it is the captain getting into the contest. That is really the important part of the game,” Cummins responded on Friday to a query about him looking forward to a duel with skipper Kohli in the Adelaide Test.

“In terms of how that fits into the overall storyline I don’t really think about it too much but of course growing up as a kid they are the kind of competitions and battles that you tune into TV for. (Glenn) McGrath bowling to (Brian) Lara, you have to watch. You knew something is going to happen. I love being in those moments, let’s see what happens this summer,” he added.

Kohli will return to India after the first Test to attend the birth of his child.

Cummins was rested after the first two ODIs that Australia won. He also didn’t take part in the three-match T20I series and is now preparing for the first Test. He bowled on the centre wicket Adelaide Oval on Friday, simulating match conditions.

“Feels to be in really good place, flying into Adelaide here (after the break) I feel fresh…the past week or so, I had a home, yeah it was great preparation for this pretty long four-Test series (that is) coming up. Good balance between trying to have downtime of rest and do the little things we haven’t been able to do for the last few months, that is it….see some family, of course still training, had a couple of good hit-outs…trying to build some strength yeah, preparing for this pretty long stint coming up. So yeah really liked to have that opportunity, feels like (I am in a great place) to pick out perfect preparation. I think that was pretty close to it, given all the circumstances,” said Cummins.

“The good thing is we have got 8-9 day leading here in Adelaide so today we got a centre wicket, so I will go and bowl eight overs or so simulating the Sheffield Shield match. I don’t think it is going to be much of a problem as long as it is about playing and bowling quite a bit of high intensity. Played 20 games or so in the last couple of months so I feel like I am used to playing the game and it is just those slight tweaks as we move into longer format of cricket,” he added.

A few of Australia’s former captains, Mark Taylor and Michael Clarke, have suggested that Cummins should lead Australia. Cummins said that though he thinks Test captaincy is easier for a bowler in comparison to limited-overs games, he is not thinking about it as there are enough good captains in the Australian squad.

“I think out of all the formats, I think the Test is the easiest for a bowler to captain. Obviously you are busy, you got to be out there putting a lot of effort into bowling, there is a bit of more time that is afforded to you. Games (Tests) move at a slightly softer pace…having an ex-captain (Clarke) who has been there and done that as a vote of confidence, that is nice. Of course, it means absolutely nothing because we have some great captains at the moment,” said the 27-year-old who has played 30 Tests so far.