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June 27, 2012

Denying Cummins his 'Shane Warne moment'

Jarrod Kimber
Pat Cummins walks back to his mark, Essex v Australians, Tour match, Chelmsford, June 26, 2012
Pat Cummins at Essex. Or is it Cummings?  © Getty Images
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"Pat Cummings is coming on to bowl," said the Essex ground announcer.

And that isn't a typo by me, the added g was used for pretty much the entire match. Taking a five-for and hitting the winning runs in your first Test as a teenager should be enough for people to know your name. But Cummins is still fairly unknown to English audiences. Him, Starc and Pattinson are often grouped together as Australia's young pace bowlers.

Starc looks a nightmare to face on his day, Pattinson is a beast of a young man but it's Cummins who is the mythical cricket creature. The teenage pace sensation.

Watching him bowl in the dusk at Chelmsford was an exciting moment. His second ball ripped out Tom Westerley's stumps in a violent way. Ryan ten Doeschate seemed happier when Ravi Bopara was facing. Greg Smith played a classical forward defence to a ball that had bowled him several seconds earlier. Graham Napier didn't look keen on getting behind the line. And the tail looked properly afraid.

It was what a fast-bowling teen sensation should do, smash wickets, rush batsmen and scare tail-enders. And if later this week was the first Test, Cummins could have his magical moment where he gets to bowl his first international ball on English soil, and give himself his "Shane Warne" moment.

The ball of the century was an amazing delivery, but had it been the first ball Warne had bowled in New Zealand or Sri Lanka, it wouldn't have had the same effect. By the time Warne was playing in an Ashes Test, he'd help win a Test in Sri Lanka, taken a seven-wicket haul against West Indies and demolished New Zealand. But in the UK, that meant little and his career started by bamboozling Gatting.

Imagine what it would be like if a teenage fast bowler was playing in the Ashes next week. Steaming in from the nursery end bowling his first ball in Ashes cricket. Even if he failed, it would be an amazing story.

Instead we have an ODI series that's being played for financial and World Cup 2015 planning reasons. A series that at best will be forgotten by the time the World Cup is actually played. Perhaps we get lucky, and in one of the ODIs Cummins takes a bag of wickets. Although most ODI hauls are assisted by slogs and powerplay foolishness anyway, so it's less likely to make any real impact.

By the time Cummins does play a Test in the UK, people will remember him as the young guy who played in a few ODIs the summer before. It won't have the magic of someone arriving from nowhere. You'd assume that by the time of the first Ashes Test, most ground announcers will know Cummins doesn't have a g in it.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Posted by Ed on (June 28, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

He's young, he's fast, he's obviously good, but are Australia making a mistake by rushing him in so young? Guys like this need a lot of careful management and a few years to develop and mature slowly. At his age, he thinks he's invincible and will want to play in every match he can, not realising the long term damage he could do to himself. It'd be awful if he broke down with stress fractures half way through the season because of over work. Use him sparingly for the next year or two....

Posted by Dan on (June 28, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

The little I've seen of Cummins and Pattinson they look reasonably useful, Starc on the other hand is decidedly average. There's certainly been a lot of chat about them from Australia but then there was about Johnson, Siddle, Bollinger and Hilfenhaus as well. As the new boys currently seem to be behind Siddle and Hilfenhaus in the queue I doubt the England batsmen are going to be panic stricken just yet.

Posted by Anonymous on (June 28, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

When a good player comes from Australia or England its been describe as a great player.When a great player comes from India Srilanka or Pakistan its been describe as a good player.Their are many talented batsman and bowlers in subcontinent where not have got the focus and need attention in world stage.

Thisara perera - Number one grade all rounder who will dominate the world cricket in the com ing years. Not given the credit by Eng/Aus authorities and commentators.

Virat Kohli - A gifted player who will mark his name in all three formats of the game than many other.

Umar Akmal _ Natural talent where no fear to bat for any bowler.

Imagine if their were players in this caliber for Eng/Aus people will talk about them like nothing.

Nothing taken out from Pat Cummins

Posted by Aby on (June 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

most ground announcers will know Cummins doesn't have a g in it

ha ha , nice one.

he was a handful in sa pitches , can he & hilfenhaus stop cook, strauss. bell & pietersen. , time will tell. England will remember that their batsmen scored big in brisbane(2nd inn), sydney , melbourne and adelaide( 2 600+, 1 500 plus). if they occupy the crease, this aus attack will be taken to cleaners.. good luck though ....

Posted by Aub on (June 27, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

Absolutely correct - the ODI series is hopelessly misconceived. However, the dig at the ground announcer over 'Cummings' looks a bit foolish when you refer to 'Tom Westerley' (it's Westley).

Posted by ramanujam sridhar on (June 27, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

Cummins is an outstanding talent and what little I saw of him in the games against South Africa and in the champions trophy here in India makes me believe that he is a genuine prospect for Australia. If he remains fit and I remember people commenting about his work load when he was only 18, then with Pattinson and perhaps a steadier Staarc, Australia should be smiling all the way to the pavilion as they rattle opposition all over the world. No one likes to play really fast bowling and at both ends . I am sure this tour of England will be extremely useful to the young Australian quicks and whatever may be the outcome of the one day series, the english batsmen are not going to find the going as easy as the previous ashes encounters. Of course the aussie batting is weak, but the bowling is good enough to rock a few english batsmen and dent the home team"s records. ramanujam sridhar

Posted by asif ali on (June 27, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

mashallah jarrod, you have picked on a g and moulded it into a nice story. reviving memories of the old, comparing kohinoor with diamonds uncut. inshallah some day you will call u sir jarrod

Posted by Jim Brown on (June 27, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

If you are going to base a piece around a commentator's mispronunciation then it would be advisable to check your copy carefully, otherwise you could end up looking rather foolish. It's Tom Westley, not Westerley.

Posted by Wilo on (June 27, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

This is a great short piece, Jarrod, thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing Cummins get his first look at England's batsmen, and vice versa, but you're absolutely right, there's already something ever-so-slightly tarnished about it.

Posted by johnnycash on (June 27, 2012, 2:28 GMT)

'and in the darkest hour, the great avenger is being born'. We here in Australia have a habit of giving young guys a wrap before they have shown much. Take note England, Patrick Cummins has shown enough against South Africa in one test to get everyone here in Australia a little excited.

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