June 28, 2012

Teenage nightmare

Pat Cummins' hero is Shane Warne and, on the evidence of a startling rise to the Australian team, his talent is almost as singular
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Nineteen ninety-three is a year an Englishman can still break into a cold sweat thinking about, and one that will cause an Australian to unveil a grin. For it was the year of Shane Warne, starting with "the Gatting ball" at Old Trafford and rolling along until the Ashes had been meekly surrendered to Australia, the peroxide blond legspinner plucking 34 wickets along the way. Warne cast a spell that year that would never truly be broken until his retirement, 14 years later.

No one knew it at the time, but there would be another significant event in 1993 that could possibly have a major say in the outcome of England v Australia contests. Halfway around the world from Warne's exploits, Pat Cummins was born in Sydney. As he grew into a strongly built youth with a taste for cricket, Cummins followed Warne closely, admiring his style and his ability to turn a match with the flick of his wrist. Though Cummins chose to bowl pace instead of spin, he aspired to having Warne's influence, his command of the ball and the contest.

"Once he got thrown the ball you knew something was going to happen," Cummins said last summer of his idol. "Even if they'd put on a hundred partnership, you knew a wicket wasn't too far away. He was always in the contest and he was just awesome to watch. I think for all bowlers, that's their aim."

As quantified by the speed of his rise into the Australian team, and the awed assessments that have surrounded his development, Cummins has shown a gift almost as prodigious as Warne's had been. He has the ideal physique for bowling fast - tall, strong and wiry - and an action that extracts sharp bounce and late swing at the kind of pace reached by only the very swiftest of bowlers.

Yet Cummins' ability extends well beyond the parameters of his physique. He is smart, almost spookily so for a 19-year-old fast bowler, and knows instinctively where a batsman would least like the ball, whether it be full at the stumps, short at the ribcage or somewhere in between. His control, too, is startling. In his junior days Warne wowed his coaches by spinning the ball enormously while remaining accurate. Cummins floors them by hurling it down at terminal velocity but with command of its line and length.

He demonstrated all this last year against South Africa in Johannesburg, so far his only Test match. He was its most outstanding player. Six second-innings wickets opened the way for Australia to record a thrilling victory. Cummins' sustained burst to defeat Jacques Kallis in the second innings was brutish but highly thoughtful and disciplined, culminating in an outswinger and an edge. Shane Watson watched it all unfold from the Australian slips cordon.

"Just to see the maturity he had in Johannesburg, for such a young guy, to see the execution of his skill was something I've never seen from a bowler of that age really," he said. "To be able to swing the ball both ways at good pace, having the innate ability of knowing when to bowl a bouncer, when to bowl a change-up, that's something that's not learned, that's just inside of you, so to see that, even in the first innings, was very special.

"It is very exciting to see someone like him coming through, because just with being able to stay fit and stay on the ground for a period of time, he is certainly going to shake a few sides up with the quality of his bowling."

The quality Watson speaks of was spotted early. Cummins was playing for New South Wales at 17, turning heads in the domestic T20 competition. Even at that early stage it was evident that he was ready for international cricket, as Ed Cowan's diary of the 2010-11 season confirms: "Let's pray he is well looked after both on and off the field by the powers that be in the coming years; part of me wants him to be left alone to slowly mature, the other part, knowing bowlers only have a certain number of balls in them, feels that with good workload management he may as well be thrown in the deep end of international cricket sooner rather than later. There is no need to be wasting good balls on players like me…"

"Simon Katich threw me the ball and said 'give them a few bouncers'. So I just ran in and tried to knock Marcus North's head off every ball"

Soon Cummins was playing in the Sheffield Shield and being used as a battering ram by his state captain, Simon Katich. At the SCG against Western Australia, he caused Marcus North's life to flash past his eyes with a spell of short-pitched fury on a dull surface. "Simon Katich threw me the ball and said, 'We can give them a few bouncers if we can't get them out any other way,'" Cummins recalled. "So I just ran in and tried to knock his head off every ball, which in hindsight was pretty mean..."

That meanness extended to the Sheffield Shield final, where an injury-laiden Blues team had to rely on Cummins to bowl an enormous amount. In the first innings he sent down a scarcely believable 48 overs, returning 3 for 118, and it was no surprise when he was diagnosed with a back stress injury soon after Tasmania had completed their seven-wicket victory. What stood out about Cummins in that match was his accuracy and his stamina; he asked questions ball upon ball and proved every bit as precise as Trent Copeland's seaming mediums at the other end. Katich said of Cummins: "For a kid who is only 18 years of age, he has an amazing brain on him already."

What followed was a mild wrestle between NSW and Cricket Australia to manage Cummins' future. He became the youngest CA-contracted player in the history of the system, but missed an A tour of Zimbabwe because of the back trouble spawned by his Shield exertions. Andrew Hilditch's selection panel, soon to be disbanded in the wake of the Argus review, wanted to choose him for the Sri Lanka tour but ultimately waited until South Africa. Cummins promotion here had an unintended side-effect, for it held back the similarly fast and confident James Pattinson.

A tourist in Sri Lanka, Pattinson lost his place to Cummins for the ODI and Test legs of the South Africa tour, and went home to develop into the bowler who would nab 26 wickets in his first five Tests. "I watched him on TV [in Johannesburg] and thought, 'That could've been me', but I knew that one day it would come," Pattinson said.

Johannesburg was a moment in time, as Cummins helped Australia rebound from the humiliation of being bowled out for 47 to lose a Test match in Cape Town that they should have dominated. The captain, Michael Clarke, considers the match a turning point in the development of his team, and it could not have been accomplished without Cummins, who made a final contribution to the drama by swiping Imran Tahir's googly for the winning runs. The Age correspondent Greg Baum wrote: "On this tour, he has graduated from a project to a plan. There is a sense of knowing about his bowling that is not always apparent in Australia's more senior bowlers. Hereby he is dubbed postman Pat: he delivers."

Injury again curtailed Cummins on his return home, a nagging pain in his heel turning out to be stress hot spots. He was one of the most marketable faces of the Sydney Sixers' inaugural season in the Big Bash League, but made his appearances for the team in a business suit rather than his playing kit. When Cummins finally returned to competitive bowling in the new year it was, in a reminder of how young he remains, for Australia's Under-19s team.

Now, a little less than 12 months into his time as an international cricketer, Cummins has the chance to emulate Warne by tormenting England. There have been plenty of winces in the nets so far on tour as Cummins and James Pattinson have warmed into their work, but plenty of smiles too. For if it's difficult for the Australian batsmen in the nets, how fiendish might it be for their England counterparts in the middle? Whatever the trite lines about this tour having nothing to do with the Ashes, retaliation is on Australian minds. Much as the West Indies did over their extended period of pace dominance, Clarke's new model team is intent on raining blows with the bowlers now at their disposal. And England, the team that so humbled them down under, are next on the programme.

So far, the hosts have performed the English trick of saying one thing while meaning quite another. After facing Cummins for Essex, Ravi Bopara said he had nothing to say about Australia's players. Tim Bresnan was similarly lacking in insight, offering only "We've not looked at any videos yet. I don't really watch much cricket." Instead, it has been the team's video analyst, Gemma Broad, doing all the research, collecting footage of Pattinson against Leicestershire at Grace Road, and Cummins against Essex at Chelmsford. England know this attack will not be brushed off with the ease of the last Ashes series.

Broad's camera captured Cummins sending back three Essex batsman at little cost, demonstrating the control and thought that has been his calling card. But there was also the sense that Cummins was not letting himself go completely, that there were more gears left to shift through. Warne, it should be remembered, foxed England in 1993 by offering up only his stock ball to a greedy Graeme Hick at Worcester, then spinning the ball a metre at Old Trafford. Nineteen years on, Cummins will be hoping for a similarly dramatic start to his meetings with England. His talent is that rare.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hyclass on July 1, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    @Meety...I forecast 2 days ago in a blog on this site,that on the balance of probability,injury would have the greatest impact on results over the next 12 months.There are many who believe that the Argus Reviews observations & recommendations & the changing of some of the guard at CA equate to resolving the malaise of the previous 4-5 years.The evidence clearly suggests otherwise.My observations are that the coach lacks the acumen to be in charge of the national side & was a poor choice.The selectors continue to theorise in advance of the facts by experimenting with players whose records oppose their selection in their chosen formats rather than encouraging it.No reasonable observer can see value in Forrest or Smith in the ODI side.The omission of Voges lacks intelligence.The use if Forrest at 3 rather than Hussey defies logic.Selection requires only that the best players by record over time play in the formats best suited to those records & be used appropriately.Its hardly physics 101

  • Meety on July 1, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @Iamnotboredofcricket - mate, Bollo was talking ODIs, & MJ has ODI stats SUPERIOR to players like Steyn & McGrath. == == == Hopefully the latest injury to Cummins is just precautionary - although a imjury described as a medium tear, would suggest it is actual. We'll need to tour England for the Ashes with TWELVE pacers at this rate!

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Probably the most promising youngster since Amir. All that and he's only 18. Wow!

  • Eskimo on June 30, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Australia will struggle in this series against England. Not because England is better than Australia, simply because England is always match-fit. They play so much cricket and therefor will always have an advantage over other teams. If Cummins can succeed against this lot I'd be really impressed, not that it's expected, of course. I'd take Englands' short, but inform batting line-up anyday before the unfit Aussie batting lineup (again, it's not Aus's fault) and then have a specialized bowling attack and have a real go. I think it's unfair that some teams get to play more cricket than others, this should be changed...I doubt England would be #1 ranked in Tests if this was the case. I always support the underdogs, go Aussies !! (SA supporter, for the record.)

  • cricnanda on June 30, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Get him on flight to tour the sub-continent. He will be shattered forever.

  • hyclass on June 30, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    If you hadnt seen Cummins bowl,you'd assume you were discussing the worlds greatest bowler.He apparently bowls with extreme accuracy,late swing both ways,untiringly at enormous pace with constant subtle variations,all with an incredible cricket brain.I couldn't help noticing that he only has 16 1st class wickets at 33 & 7 ODI wickets at 30.50 at an economy rate near 6.Either hes a very unlucky bowler or this article lacks the credibility of supporting evidence.His success in a BBL populated with many of the lesser lights in Australian cricket who have 120 balls to make their case is irrelevent in quality formats.His 6/79 v SA is hugely overrated.SA had played virtually no 1st class cricket for months.The 1st Test of a 2 Test series lasted little more than 2 days.The 2nd went 5.SA's failure in the 2nd innings was symptomatic of a team lacking match fitness.I see Aus lost the 1st ODI-avec Cummins & an equally outspoken Watson.Call me old fashioned.I prefer actions before or without words

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 30, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Try Steven Finn - Fastest Bowler in the World.

  • on June 30, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @ Bollo and others your insane, Mitchell Johnson can change a game quickly but is far too inconsistent to EVER be considered a great bowler(he is a dangerous bowler), although he could become a great alrounder (if he ever makes it back). He is not at the level of Marshall, Lillie, Ambrose, Akram, Younis, McGrath, Haddlee & Warne to name a few TRULY GREAT bowlers. Haven't seen much of Cummins but what I have seen is impressive but far too early to talk of being a great. I have seen alot of Pattinson and he looks the goods, and im a Kiwi so i don't say that easily.

  • hhillbumper on June 29, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    He looked world class today

  • Alexk400 on June 29, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Pat cummins will do better than erratic pattinson (occasional high , more lows)

  • hyclass on July 1, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    @Meety...I forecast 2 days ago in a blog on this site,that on the balance of probability,injury would have the greatest impact on results over the next 12 months.There are many who believe that the Argus Reviews observations & recommendations & the changing of some of the guard at CA equate to resolving the malaise of the previous 4-5 years.The evidence clearly suggests otherwise.My observations are that the coach lacks the acumen to be in charge of the national side & was a poor choice.The selectors continue to theorise in advance of the facts by experimenting with players whose records oppose their selection in their chosen formats rather than encouraging it.No reasonable observer can see value in Forrest or Smith in the ODI side.The omission of Voges lacks intelligence.The use if Forrest at 3 rather than Hussey defies logic.Selection requires only that the best players by record over time play in the formats best suited to those records & be used appropriately.Its hardly physics 101

  • Meety on July 1, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @Iamnotboredofcricket - mate, Bollo was talking ODIs, & MJ has ODI stats SUPERIOR to players like Steyn & McGrath. == == == Hopefully the latest injury to Cummins is just precautionary - although a imjury described as a medium tear, would suggest it is actual. We'll need to tour England for the Ashes with TWELVE pacers at this rate!

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Probably the most promising youngster since Amir. All that and he's only 18. Wow!

  • Eskimo on June 30, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Australia will struggle in this series against England. Not because England is better than Australia, simply because England is always match-fit. They play so much cricket and therefor will always have an advantage over other teams. If Cummins can succeed against this lot I'd be really impressed, not that it's expected, of course. I'd take Englands' short, but inform batting line-up anyday before the unfit Aussie batting lineup (again, it's not Aus's fault) and then have a specialized bowling attack and have a real go. I think it's unfair that some teams get to play more cricket than others, this should be changed...I doubt England would be #1 ranked in Tests if this was the case. I always support the underdogs, go Aussies !! (SA supporter, for the record.)

  • cricnanda on June 30, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Get him on flight to tour the sub-continent. He will be shattered forever.

  • hyclass on June 30, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    If you hadnt seen Cummins bowl,you'd assume you were discussing the worlds greatest bowler.He apparently bowls with extreme accuracy,late swing both ways,untiringly at enormous pace with constant subtle variations,all with an incredible cricket brain.I couldn't help noticing that he only has 16 1st class wickets at 33 & 7 ODI wickets at 30.50 at an economy rate near 6.Either hes a very unlucky bowler or this article lacks the credibility of supporting evidence.His success in a BBL populated with many of the lesser lights in Australian cricket who have 120 balls to make their case is irrelevent in quality formats.His 6/79 v SA is hugely overrated.SA had played virtually no 1st class cricket for months.The 1st Test of a 2 Test series lasted little more than 2 days.The 2nd went 5.SA's failure in the 2nd innings was symptomatic of a team lacking match fitness.I see Aus lost the 1st ODI-avec Cummins & an equally outspoken Watson.Call me old fashioned.I prefer actions before or without words

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 30, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Try Steven Finn - Fastest Bowler in the World.

  • on June 30, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @ Bollo and others your insane, Mitchell Johnson can change a game quickly but is far too inconsistent to EVER be considered a great bowler(he is a dangerous bowler), although he could become a great alrounder (if he ever makes it back). He is not at the level of Marshall, Lillie, Ambrose, Akram, Younis, McGrath, Haddlee & Warne to name a few TRULY GREAT bowlers. Haven't seen much of Cummins but what I have seen is impressive but far too early to talk of being a great. I have seen alot of Pattinson and he looks the goods, and im a Kiwi so i don't say that easily.

  • hhillbumper on June 29, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    He looked world class today

  • Alexk400 on June 29, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Pat cummins will do better than erratic pattinson (occasional high , more lows)

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on June 29, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    @bollo. Those are very good stats, yes, but he's not a cricketing "great" as he was touted to be. I won't insult you by suggesting you think he is a great. Whether someone is or was or is going to be a great cricketer was the debate, not a set of figures for part of his career which might be the highlight of his career. He is certainly capable of great spells (in the same way Flintoff was), but he (and Flintoff) is not a "great" and that was the point I was trying to make as that's what we were talking about: Cummins being touted as a potential great in the same way Mitch was and clearly isn't.

  • on June 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    As excited as anyone about Cummins and Pattinson! Given the time to develop their core muscle strength and fitness they could become a true Simon and Garfunkel act for Australia. That said, they're still some way from honing their talent to perfection. Let's not get carried away like "once-in-a-generation" tags for Mitch Johnson .. given enough time and international exposure they'll pick up the tricks of the trade.

  • mahjut on June 29, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Well, for starters you have to agree that Shane Warne was unique to really get locked into reading. Warnie was great and played in a great team against 'some' great bats but unique ... well, i don't think so! So, i didn't get much further than the title but as i scrolled down to post i noticed some reference to Cummins in SA ... as a vague Saffer supporter i can tell you it's been a good debuting arena for aussies in recent times, but bears little on future glory ... Hughes and Johnson both got their careers off the ground in SA by being match winners but although Johnson still controversially lingers round the Aussie side, Hughes is an almost forgotten entity. i do wish Starc a lot of luck, the young Saffer (de langer?) looked equally good ... as did Parnell some seasons back ... and look like they'll be carrying pace for a few years to come. With the young-ish english attack and some promising Windies and Indian bowlers it seems the ball may be reclaiming its rightful place again!

  • on June 29, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    @fan2011 Its simple, because they are replacing the greats...hence compared to them.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Cummins is overrated. Its because he has sheer pace but that does not necessarily mean accuracy. His first class average is 33. On Australian wickets for a fast bowler, those numbers should be lower than that. Then again, he is very young and if developed properly, could vastly improved. I still think Pattinson is where the money is at. He bowls sharp deliveries and seems to be effectual in Australia, at least.

  • Bollo on June 29, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    @Iamnotbored of cricket. re. your sarcastic dismissal of Mitchell Johnson. Yes, 168 ODI wickets in 107 matches at 25 (SR 31) are world-class stats in anyone`s book.

  • fan2011 on June 29, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    why is it that when an australian or brit makes debut or scores a few runs and takes a couple of wickets that they are the next shane warne or next ponting? what happpened to the next warne in S. Smith or the hayden in phil hughes or the gilchrist in wade?

    lol.. thank god you don't compare them to the next tendulkar, or viv richards or Lara..

  • superShiva on June 29, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    England will win with 5-1

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on June 29, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Also, check out his averages. First class bowling, while not disastrous is 33 ish. In a period where there are few great Australian batsmen out there this isn't amazing. Yes he's young.... etc... I have a lot more faith in this guy than Steve "what have you done for Australia lately" Smith...

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on June 29, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    @Tom_Bowler - LOL. Spot on. I remember all the fuss created about good ol' Mitch Johnson... What a "great" he's been. Anyway... Even as a supporter of England I'm keen to see this guy do well, he looks the part "so far, based on his limited experiences at international level"... but lets not get carried away. Of course it's not as much fun, but people can only really been judged onces established. I don't know if there is a magic figure... 50 caps maybe? I dunno. But I hope he does well.

  • Tom_Bowler on June 29, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Two concurrent puff pieces about Cummins on cricinfo. The last bowler to be so, ahem, blessed was the mesmerising Sunil Narine. Not seen much of Cummins but I'm looking forward to doing so however comparing a lad with very little cricket behind him to Shane Warne is a bit like claiming I'm as good looking as Brad Pitt because I've got the same number of heads.

  • on June 29, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Go you good thing. Forget about the media over hyping him because they'll continue to do so, as a journalist Pat Cummins must be something like manna from heaven. In a series that everyone is struggling to get up for, fans, players and media alike, he could be one of the guys that sets off a spark. I also like it that this is an ODI series, he'll get to bowl some proper spells without breaking his back and work up some match fitness. With Cummins, Pattinson, Harris, Hilfy, Siddle and Watson as back up the Aussies surely have the nucleus of a strong pace attack... South Africa with Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Tsotsobe and De Lange and England with Anderson, Broad, Finn, Bresnan, Tremlett and Onions, there is going to be some ding dong test cricket played out over the next couple of years.

  • on June 29, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    The first time I saw him in teh BBL a couple of summers ago as a 17 year old, I thought "crikey, he is way better thaan anything we have in the test team...he reminds me of a taller, faster version of Dale Steyn" Along with Pattinson and Starc, I feel Australia have a fast bowling attack locked in for the next decade. Throw in Lyon the off spinner, Wade the keeper batsman, Fawkner the bowling allrounder and half the equation is answered. Sadly, the young batsman in Australia do not fill me with the same optimism as the above lot do. Still a lot of hard work to be done for Australian cricket to reach #1 again.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 29, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    He is a fantastic talent. But he is not rare. The only thing is that people get fascinated becos he is so young. Had a 22 year old bloke bowled like cummins did , not much would have been spoken. For a start i dont think he is even aus' best bowler. That mantle rests with Ryan Harris and to an extent Siddle. And I would also like to add that pattinson is massively overrated. Agreed he swung the ball at pace, but only at Brisbane and Hobart against NZ and on a dodgy mcg against old indians. The real test for these PATS would be :Can they bowl well with similar intensity after tea on a flat wicket ? Harris and Siddle passed that test in sri lanka. Pattinson failed that test in sydney-2nd innings against india and in the Trinidad test against wi. As for Cummins, lets hope he passes that with flying colours.

  • dalboy12 on June 29, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Yea as a Kiwi, who unlike the Aussies don't have production chain of fast bowlers i remember the ongoing injuries that comes from quick bowlers that have stress fracture problems --- Shane Bond. Hope he really is over the stress fractures as they seem to be the sort of things that come back.

  • Marcio on June 29, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Cummins has only played 4!!! first class games, so he is yet to really prove himself. I saw him bowling a couple of years ago and I couldn't believe that he was only 17. He has good variation and movement as well s being quick. He and Starc should be the first two picked for short format games. Pattinson is an excellent test bowler, but does not have enough variation of pace or deliveries to be a good ODI bowler at this stage. He's clearly there to get English experience before the ashes. Johnson is there becasue he's an old head - and I guess he's pretty handy when he can get the ball on the right pitch, or when he's not thinking about his mum. But all these new guys are very young, so given time should develop into v good bowlers in all formats.

  • on June 29, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Australia will clean up England 4-1

  • Chinmuzic on June 29, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    lets be careful with this kid....hes massively talented for sure ..lets be careful in not exposing him too much now, not hyping him up...it will only hurt him!

  • IndianInnerEdge on June 29, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Sure is exciting to watch a young emerging quickie coming through, Will be fun to watch the Pat n Patto show, Aus is blessed to have such talented youngsters in the wings. I only hope that he is not hyped up as the next big thing and is handled carefully. This is a credit to the strong shield lineup and system that Australia has, wish BCCI would take note and use the gadzillions they have, to improve indian domestic cricket. Meanwhile, lets just enjoy Pat and Pattinson..:)

  • zenboomerang on June 29, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    One thing I like about Cummins is that he does use his head when bowling & would have loved watching him & Starc bowling together - well one day that will happen... His ability to swing it both ways accurately at pace will quickly show up any batsman that doesn't respect his skills... Cummins is still young with little international experience, so this series is for learning purposes - any more is a bonus...

  • on June 29, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    Cummins to be Aussie Dale Steyn!

  • getaclue on June 29, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    I've never seen anyone so overhyped following just one test and a handful of onedayers and injuries. He MAY turn out to be a star but it is far to premature to call it now. Lets look back in 8-10 years time and see how it panned out. Hughes is a great example

  • jonesy2 on June 29, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    landl47 -- to be fair that 2001 team is as good as it gets, there will never be a team better than that on paper, maybe teams as good, but not better

  • jonesy2 on June 29, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    well cummins should be something special and thats great for cricket in general because keeping that streak of having special fast bowlers players in test cricket is important. steyn is the current having taken over from brett lee who took over from mcgrath who took over from akram and so on

  • SamRoy on June 29, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    @landl47 Well, I will prefer Watson (primarily because he is a handy bowler in English conditions) and Clarke over Slater and Martyn. But you are right, rest are no comparisons. Cricketers like Shane Warne are not born everyday. And another Gilchrist? Well, first they need a batsman to be as good as him, never mind a wicket keeper batsman (hope Warner fulfills his early promise). Hopefully Haddin never comes back. He was such a disgrace to the art of wicketkeeping, second only to Kamran Akmal. Ponting and Hussey are past their primes.

  • Chris_P on June 29, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    @wrighty1012. You're right! Just don't hold out for responses or any further posts from him. As has been pointed out, everyone is a winner and a chest beater before any game, but it's after the game that counts and many disappear from sight. I have had the privilege of seeing this kid in action and I'm thankful he is young, quick & on our side. I just hope they don't over bowl him in the one dayers. Test cricket is where he will leave his mark, his combination with Pattinson in the coming years will be worthwhile viewing. Too bad our batting depths don't match our bowling stocks.

  • RonchiefBSB on June 29, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    I'm not even sure Shaun Tait bowled 48 overs in first class cricket, let alone in one innings. I do hope Cummins puts egg on the English faces but I'm not convinced of the wisdom of exposing him in this relatively meaningless ODI series.

  • BurmaStu on June 29, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    I watched (courtesy of Cricinfo) Cummins emerge into the Big Bash at 17 and was telling anybody who'd listen to me that he'd be a superstar, which I can only hope proves to be correct. But Daniel Brettig I'd like to offer my congratulations, this was a very nicely written piece, well done.

  • landl47 on June 29, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    @bishkekrawalpindi: Australia as strong as in the early part of the century? Somehow I don't think so. The Australian side for the Edgbaston test against England, July 2001: Slater, Hayden, Ponting, M.Waugh, S. Waugh, Martyn, Gilchrist, Warne, Lee, Gillespie, McGrath. The Australian side for their most recent test v. West Indies, April 2012: Cowan, Warner, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, M. Hussey, Wade, Harris, Starc, Hilfenhaus, Lyon. The only player from 2012 who might have got in the 2001 side is Clarke; Ponting and Hussey are both now too old and none of the others would even be close. Cummins and Pattinson are good prospects, but Australia has to find 2 more bowlers, 5 more batsmen and a wicketkeeper/batsman as good as Gilchrist (good luck with that) to be anything like the 2001 side.

  • AnoMaLy on June 29, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Watch out England! Boy has talent

  • landl47 on June 29, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    Cummins is certainly an exciting prospect and everyone who loves cricket, instead of just blindly supporting their side, will hope that he develops into the kind of bowler he has the potential to be. I've been lucky enough to see many great quick bowlers, dating back to Wes Hall and Fred Trueman, and a genuine quick bowler attacking the batsman with a cordon of slip fielders is one of the most thrilling sights in cricket- and, of course, something you never see in T20.

  • mukkit on June 29, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    He's a very different proposition to Shaun Tait. If you want to make a comparison the closest is a young Jason Gillespie..high (probably too high) arm action and bowls just a touch over 90mph.

  • wrighty1012 on June 29, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @RAVI_BOPARA i am going to thoroughly enjoy reading your comment again in a few weeks time

  • johnnycash on June 28, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    No matter where you come from, or which country you support, sit back, relax, and enjoy Patrick Cummins bowl. His pace and movement is going to trouble every batsman in the cricketing world. 5 one dayers won't be enough, and by the time South Africa arrive in Australia and then the Ashes roll around next summer in England, everybody will be frothing at the mouth.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on June 28, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    5-0 ENGLAND SERIES SWEEP.. I CAN SEE CUMMINGS BEING SENT HOME AGAIN DUE TO A NEW INJURY!!!! AND JUST TO LET U KNOW CLARKE WILL RESIGN FROM CAPTAINY AND WATSON WILL TAKE OVER...

  • Winsome on June 28, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    When are journalists going to stop hyping kids who are just starting on their career? This is set up to be another Phil Hughes situation where the drop from the media-built pedestal is really unpleasant to witness and must be horrible for the player to go through. It's so unfair on these young players, quit hyping them in this manner when they've barely started.

  • bishkekrawalpindi on June 28, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Seems Australia are soon going to be as strong as they were in the early part of the century

  • on June 28, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    If such is the case (I haven't seen him, only read about him in snippets), then I hope he blossoms to be the next Steyn. God knows Test cricket needs electric bowlers. Just hope he doesn't have an Ashes future like SKW ...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 28, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Untested, another Mitch Johnson ("He bowls to the left...He bowls to the righhhtt..")...

  • jackthelad on June 28, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    'He is very quick and he swings the new ball so he knocks over top-order batsmen ... he is obviously going to be a very good weapon at the end of the innings as well.' .... Ricky Ponting on Shaun Tait, Feb 1st 2007. Well - let's see if this 'teenage tearaway' can do a bit better a trifle more consistently than 'sicknote' Tait ...

  • on June 28, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Looking forward to see Cummins & Pattinson duo. Gonna be thrilling contest b/w great skills of the both team.

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  • on June 28, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Looking forward to see Cummins & Pattinson duo. Gonna be thrilling contest b/w great skills of the both team.

  • jackthelad on June 28, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    'He is very quick and he swings the new ball so he knocks over top-order batsmen ... he is obviously going to be a very good weapon at the end of the innings as well.' .... Ricky Ponting on Shaun Tait, Feb 1st 2007. Well - let's see if this 'teenage tearaway' can do a bit better a trifle more consistently than 'sicknote' Tait ...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 28, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Untested, another Mitch Johnson ("He bowls to the left...He bowls to the righhhtt..")...

  • on June 28, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    If such is the case (I haven't seen him, only read about him in snippets), then I hope he blossoms to be the next Steyn. God knows Test cricket needs electric bowlers. Just hope he doesn't have an Ashes future like SKW ...

  • bishkekrawalpindi on June 28, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Seems Australia are soon going to be as strong as they were in the early part of the century

  • Winsome on June 28, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    When are journalists going to stop hyping kids who are just starting on their career? This is set up to be another Phil Hughes situation where the drop from the media-built pedestal is really unpleasant to witness and must be horrible for the player to go through. It's so unfair on these young players, quit hyping them in this manner when they've barely started.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on June 28, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    5-0 ENGLAND SERIES SWEEP.. I CAN SEE CUMMINGS BEING SENT HOME AGAIN DUE TO A NEW INJURY!!!! AND JUST TO LET U KNOW CLARKE WILL RESIGN FROM CAPTAINY AND WATSON WILL TAKE OVER...

  • johnnycash on June 28, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    No matter where you come from, or which country you support, sit back, relax, and enjoy Patrick Cummins bowl. His pace and movement is going to trouble every batsman in the cricketing world. 5 one dayers won't be enough, and by the time South Africa arrive in Australia and then the Ashes roll around next summer in England, everybody will be frothing at the mouth.

  • wrighty1012 on June 29, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @RAVI_BOPARA i am going to thoroughly enjoy reading your comment again in a few weeks time

  • mukkit on June 29, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    He's a very different proposition to Shaun Tait. If you want to make a comparison the closest is a young Jason Gillespie..high (probably too high) arm action and bowls just a touch over 90mph.