South Africa v Australia, 1st Twenty20, Cape Town October 13, 2011

Cummins the difference - White

Firdose Moonda at Newlands
37

Patrick Cummins, Australia's 18-year-old fast bowler, was credited with putting his team in a winning position after their victory in the opening T20 against South Africa at Newlands. His captain, Cameron White, said Cummins' three wickets on debut in the 19th over swung the advantage Australia's way.

"It was the difference between chasing 160 and what we did chase [147]," White said. "It doesn't seem like much but when the game is getting close those few runs make a difference." White added that Cummins, who was Australia's second youngest debutant, bowled like "a seasoned pro" and his performance in his first match gave further evidence of a bright future.

The Man of the Match, Shane Watson, who is also Cummins' team-mate at New South Wales, was another full of praise. After talking Cummins up earlier in the week, Watson believed that he had lived up to his billing and that he will be careful to nurture his skills and not let any ego get it the way.

"There's no way he will let it get to his head," Watson said. "Deep down he knows that it's a really special gift that he's got, to bowl that fast at such a young age."

While Cummins grabbed the biggest haul, Australia's bowling was an all-round effort and White said the conditions had something to do with it. "They probably really appreciated the conditions. It was nice to see the ball swinging and bouncing."

One of the other debutants, Doug Bollinger, who was, somewhat surprisingly, playing in his first international T20 despite his success at the IPL, also impressed as he swung the new ball and was economical. "Doug has been doing well in Twenty20s for the last couple of years," Watson said. "He has been consistent and bowled with good pace, bounce and swing. When he is bowling well, it's hard to line him up more than anything,"

He claimed the scalp of Graeme Smith, lending weight to the theory that Smith has not dealt with his technical issues against left-armers although Watson wasn't reading too much into Smith's duck. "I think it's just luck. Whether you're right-handed or left-handed batsmen, you don't come across too many left handed bowlers," he said. "Left-armers have given batsmen a lot of trouble, not just Graeme, but having two left-armers does give us an advantage."

Watson also played his part with the ball but it was his swashbuckling 52 that took the game away from South Africa. After a lean run in the Champions League, Watson felt he was due some runs. "I had been feeling good in the nets so I knew I was not far away," he said. He was dropped on 2, by Smith in at first slip, and admitted that he needed a bit of luck but was pleased to capitalise on it.

South Africa didn't help themselves by the lapses in the field and had been put on the back foot early when Smith fell in the first over and Amla was run out coming back for a third. Colin Ingram and JP Duminy put them back on track with a third-wicket partnership of 58 and although it didn't prove to be matchwinning stand, Amla said it was one of the biggest positives of their defeat.

"That's what the selectors were hoping for, that the young batsmen would perform," he said. "JP's innings was a serious highlight for us. Some of his shots were unbelievable."

With the pair at the crease, South Africa looked on track to reach an above-par total but White said he never felt as though the score was getting beyond his control. "I didn't think it was drifting away from us," he said. "They always had to push on towards the back end and then we got a breakthrough and were really able to restrict them. The run rate was always around six."

While White said winning was a good start he added "it will be better to win the next one." Amla, meanwhile, was looking for aspects he can build on as South Africa attempt to level the series in Johannesburg. "In the batting department, we should look to score a bit more so that it gives the guys at the bottom a little more leeway," he said. "And, in the field we did show signs of not being at 100%."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on October 16, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    IMO - Cummins has a big future, but as has been shown recently, he is one injury away from disaster. He looks good, he possesses a talent that not many have ever had, (let alone at 17 or 18 yrs of age. To be a Test star, he will have to do more than just bowl fast to be a great. Have a look at Brett Lee & Shoaib Ahktar & Tait. Pure speed on certain pitches will always be hard to handle, but those 3 pace bowlers I mentioned were nothing on Akram, Ambrose & McGrath. Lee got dangerous in ODIs because he learned to SWING the white ball, & in Tests got better at reverse swinging. Stays injury free & gets the RIGHT mentoring - he could be anything. At the moment - I'm just happy seeing a young bloke have good crack in SHORT FORMS. Tests in STH AFRICA now, is TOO EARLY (IMO)!

  • hyclass on October 15, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    @Winsome...great to see someone applying perspective to what regularly degenerates into a hypefest for youth without fully referencing supporting evidence. Steve Smith had a 1st class average of 56 when he was picked for Australia.In the 09/10 season,he scored 772 runs at 77 with 4 centuries from 8 matches & took 21 wickets at 44 with a best of 7 /64.He also had 320 runs at 53 & took 11 wickets at 42 in List A.His original selection was a very fair call. He made 18 and 54 not out in the last Test he played v England.Just 22,he has often be villified for playing his own game,yet thats what got him there.Hughes endured something similar and is the same age.In a masterful PR exercise,CA started the 'technique is king' myth to cover their own ineptitude.So many of the great players had techniques that cant be replicated,its barely worth reprising.It all seems extraordinary,particlularly when Argus identified CA appointments and policies as culpable for Australias woes,not age or technique.

  • on October 15, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @Matt Meharg- The team sounds great but doesn't stand anywhere near the aussie team of 2000's cause those guys had something that their counterparts didn't...grits of steel. This current lot of aussie teams are weak (even your selectors' minds are!), that is the reason for the aussie decline and don't see them anywhere near the top atleast for now.Your time at the top is OVER!!!

  • podichetty on October 14, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Beware India..........probably the "best batting line-up" to test your quickies against in helpful conditions. Cummins becoming a superstar is not too far away......just wait for 2 more months down under!

  • Winsome on October 14, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    He looks a very good prospect BUT he hasn't done anything at all so far in the other formats, so I wish people would calm down about him. You are all going to turn on him like jackals at some stage just like with Steve Smith who had similar nonsense written about him when he first started in international cricket. It's not fair on these youngsters to hype them like this. @MattMeharg, you've started what I call the Add-on effect. Just because one young player does well you start behaving like they all are potential stars.

  • AMD. on October 14, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Pat Cummins- A superstar in the making.

  • Chris_P on October 14, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    @ landl47. I have seen him live. let's just say, I am glad he is on our side bowling that stuff, rather than against us. At 18 years of age, and tipping it at 150kph, there is a long way to go, so fasten your seatbelts, folks! And there is a crop of youngsters a few years younger who are following in his footsteps, bowling just as quick as Cummins at the same age (2 14yo's were already timed at 136!). It appears a golden age for pure pace is just around the corner.

  • on October 14, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    i hope Dennis Lillee will talk with him in case he has a bad back injury like Dennis had.Australia need a good quality fast bowler which we have been missing for a couple of years

  • on October 14, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Cummions played welll.....hope he continoues his form...

  • on October 14, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    look at the young aussie quicks cummins,pattinson,starc,benny cutting is another exceptional talent there all guns who bowl 140+ 150 in cummins case, the oz test team will have a test attack that will frighten opposition,imagine the test team, warner,watson,s.marsh,clarke,paine,m.marsh,faulkner/butterworth,cutting,pattinson,cummins,lyon/starc,would b a fantastic young team.

  • Meety on October 16, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    IMO - Cummins has a big future, but as has been shown recently, he is one injury away from disaster. He looks good, he possesses a talent that not many have ever had, (let alone at 17 or 18 yrs of age. To be a Test star, he will have to do more than just bowl fast to be a great. Have a look at Brett Lee & Shoaib Ahktar & Tait. Pure speed on certain pitches will always be hard to handle, but those 3 pace bowlers I mentioned were nothing on Akram, Ambrose & McGrath. Lee got dangerous in ODIs because he learned to SWING the white ball, & in Tests got better at reverse swinging. Stays injury free & gets the RIGHT mentoring - he could be anything. At the moment - I'm just happy seeing a young bloke have good crack in SHORT FORMS. Tests in STH AFRICA now, is TOO EARLY (IMO)!

  • hyclass on October 15, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    @Winsome...great to see someone applying perspective to what regularly degenerates into a hypefest for youth without fully referencing supporting evidence. Steve Smith had a 1st class average of 56 when he was picked for Australia.In the 09/10 season,he scored 772 runs at 77 with 4 centuries from 8 matches & took 21 wickets at 44 with a best of 7 /64.He also had 320 runs at 53 & took 11 wickets at 42 in List A.His original selection was a very fair call. He made 18 and 54 not out in the last Test he played v England.Just 22,he has often be villified for playing his own game,yet thats what got him there.Hughes endured something similar and is the same age.In a masterful PR exercise,CA started the 'technique is king' myth to cover their own ineptitude.So many of the great players had techniques that cant be replicated,its barely worth reprising.It all seems extraordinary,particlularly when Argus identified CA appointments and policies as culpable for Australias woes,not age or technique.

  • on October 15, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @Matt Meharg- The team sounds great but doesn't stand anywhere near the aussie team of 2000's cause those guys had something that their counterparts didn't...grits of steel. This current lot of aussie teams are weak (even your selectors' minds are!), that is the reason for the aussie decline and don't see them anywhere near the top atleast for now.Your time at the top is OVER!!!

  • podichetty on October 14, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Beware India..........probably the "best batting line-up" to test your quickies against in helpful conditions. Cummins becoming a superstar is not too far away......just wait for 2 more months down under!

  • Winsome on October 14, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    He looks a very good prospect BUT he hasn't done anything at all so far in the other formats, so I wish people would calm down about him. You are all going to turn on him like jackals at some stage just like with Steve Smith who had similar nonsense written about him when he first started in international cricket. It's not fair on these youngsters to hype them like this. @MattMeharg, you've started what I call the Add-on effect. Just because one young player does well you start behaving like they all are potential stars.

  • AMD. on October 14, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Pat Cummins- A superstar in the making.

  • Chris_P on October 14, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    @ landl47. I have seen him live. let's just say, I am glad he is on our side bowling that stuff, rather than against us. At 18 years of age, and tipping it at 150kph, there is a long way to go, so fasten your seatbelts, folks! And there is a crop of youngsters a few years younger who are following in his footsteps, bowling just as quick as Cummins at the same age (2 14yo's were already timed at 136!). It appears a golden age for pure pace is just around the corner.

  • on October 14, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    i hope Dennis Lillee will talk with him in case he has a bad back injury like Dennis had.Australia need a good quality fast bowler which we have been missing for a couple of years

  • on October 14, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Cummions played welll.....hope he continoues his form...

  • on October 14, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    look at the young aussie quicks cummins,pattinson,starc,benny cutting is another exceptional talent there all guns who bowl 140+ 150 in cummins case, the oz test team will have a test attack that will frighten opposition,imagine the test team, warner,watson,s.marsh,clarke,paine,m.marsh,faulkner/butterworth,cutting,pattinson,cummins,lyon/starc,would b a fantastic young team.

  • on October 14, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    The first time I saw Paddy Cummins as a 17 year old absolutely blow away the Queensland top order to take four wickets - I knew a star was born. The lad is genuinely fast, accurate and has a nasty bouncer. With his affable, easy going personality, he is going to be a much loved star in India over the the next 15 years. Should be fast tracked into the test team in the next two years.

  • reddawn1975 on October 14, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Yeah Cummins is going to be a great bowler hopefully an injury free bowler

  • shaanzee on October 14, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    the turning point of the match is amla run out.in the absent of devilliers s.a need him at his best.smith must retire in t20

  • on October 14, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Always good to see a young player with this much ability. Tthis is the only occasion where all cricket fans come together and support a lad of that quality, irrespective of their country. Already the opposition teams are feeling him as main threat to their batting, really great stuff. Lets see how he will adjust himself in next couple of years.

  • nzcricket174 on October 14, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Pat Cummins is 18 get it right Cricinfo. He is a superstar bowler seen him in the Big Bash at the start of the year.

  • on October 14, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur: I have been seeing you post on nearly every article over the last couple of weeks saying X and Y benefited from IPL or CLT20. Can you please drop that? We guys down here in Aus saw Cummins play in the Big Bash last season and he was matured well enough that time. His 4-for against Qld included slower balls and cutters as well and he crossed 90mph in the early stages of that game. Maybe since Indians don't follow much of foreign domestic tourneys, the CLT20 might look like a talent-hunt for you...but sorry, we guys have seen Cummins bowl for a year and he got a CA contract months before the CLT20.

  • jonesy2 on October 14, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    hes 18. this superstar has had huge impacts in pretty much every match ive seen him play. going to be a test great and be a big part of australia's dominance over the next 10 years. awesome stuff

  • AidanFX on October 14, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    @ landl47 - The guy isn't even 19 yet, there is enough there to work with, he still had to build hiis body up and get used to bowling at International cricket. What do you expect from someone his age really. He was solid in his first couple overs, his 3rd was expensive; so what? Its early days too early to get overly excited... I think there is a median between over excitement and your pessimism. Moreover his three wickets, granted where in the last couple of overs when runs are a necessity , stilled showed some skill and poise to execute good slower balls to get those wickets.

  • on October 14, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Why must TV commentators be the judge of Man of the Match? Cummins was the real Man of the Match by a fair margin.

  • bobagorof on October 14, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Credit where it's due - Cummins managed to get 3 wickets at the end of the innings and helped restrict the final-over slog. He may have had some luck, but most bowlers need that. The rest of his overs were pretty tight, as final analysis of 4 overs for 25 would indicate. It's early days in his career though - I'm not jumping up and down about him. People are saying good things about him though. (Of course, they said good things about Cameron White and I think he's a waste of space). Hopefully Cummins can continue his development, won't be rushed but will have decent opportunities and will become an effective and potent bowler for Australia in 3-4 years.

  • on October 14, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Cummins bowled really well in the Champions league and even on the slow Indian wickets, he was making some of the batsmen hurry. I know it is too early to talk him up and we know what happens to players who have hype around them. But he certainly has age on his side and does not promise to be a mere tearaway. Whilst South Africa were going after him, you still need to remember that while Pattinson gave away runs, Cummins got wickets. I think the Australian fast bowling attack is decent and could only get better. It is the spin that is an issue and the batting will certainly become better once Warner and Ferguson get settled at the very highest level. I dont think the South African tour will be a washout for Australia as prophesied by a few, if the team continues to bowl like it did yesterday. I think the biggies llike Stein and devilliers were missed. If Australlia do well on this tour, then they will well and truly be on track . Here is hoping they do for the sake or world cricket.

  • on October 14, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Cummins looked really good CLT20. Lets hope he does not have injury issues and grows to become a leading force in world cricket. World needs quality quickies to add X factor to the game.

  • on October 14, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    18 years old and clocking 150 kmph consistently.Looks like a long-term prospect.If he can just build up some mass in his shoulders.Hope some of the fools back in India can encourage some of the U-19s to bowl at 145 kmph and monitor their progress instead of being obsessed with "bowlers" like Sreenath Aravind and Vinay Kumar who only bowl lollypops at 120 kmph.

  • on October 14, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    I was horrified to see that bollinger had never played a int t20 before, he has been one of CSK's top bowlers and has been performing in ODI's, also Pat Cummins, bowled exceptionally in his last over especially, while pattinson was at the other end being flogged all around the park, cummins got everything right up in the blockhole and forced a risky shot, he didnt give any easy runs (cept the wide, but one can forgive him for that) In fact it is good he bowled the wide because he took a wicket with the 7th ball in the over. Also aussie selectors have got it wrong, steve smith is in the side...yet did not bowl even 1 ball...Not sure how he is considered the 6th best specialist batsman in australia for T20's....... surely we can find better...

  • popcorn on October 14, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Patrick Cummins is exciting to watch. I saw him onTV performing sperbly for NSW in the Champions League, and yesterday against South Africa. His tricky bouncers broughta smile to Watto's face in the slips.He will be THE MAN for Australia in South africa and will get into the Test Team within the next two years.A great find. With Craig McDermott and Troy Cooley to help him better his actions, run up,he will be the next Glenn McGrath.

  • Gupta.Ankur on October 14, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    I think his stint in the CLT20 helped not only to prepare for pressures in Intl. cricket, but also get his selection for this story....

  • landl47 on October 14, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    Yeah, RandyOz, just like Mitch Johnson, the Once-In-A-Lifetime bowler as Dennis Lillee called him. Cummins has 9 first-class wickets, average 46, S/R 90. He gets 3 wickets in the 19th over of a T20, all caught off batsmen going for big hits, and you're soooo excited. Shows how desperate Australia are.

  • ajayrcs on October 14, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    I have noticed one thing, by watching Australia's match this year that Australia is the only team which can make a whole team with only FAST BOWLERS who can bowl more than 140 Km/h but its funny People like Greg Chap still thinks there is a drought of talent in Australia.

  • Technical-1 on October 14, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Always nice to see a young Fast Bowler with Great Potential.

  • jmcilhinney on October 14, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Cummins certainly does look a good prospect. RandyOz, I was wondering whether you could point me to the information that shows how worried England are about him. I'd be interested to read it.

  • zenboomerang on October 14, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    @RandyOZ... as an Aussie I take the win with a grain of salt... SA dropped Watson on 2 & also fumbled 2 more... we bowled well and batted OK, but nothing spectacular... winning the next game is more important for showing intent & form... England?... lol... why should they worry, thumped us last summer and will have the same team for years to come... We have to bat a lot better to get to their level & come up with 2 pace men & a good spinner... we're not there yet...

  • AidanFX on October 14, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Good to see, exciting stuff. What is it with White and Ponting and Katich shunning Smith to Bowl though. The guy has proved in both 20/20 he can get break through wickets in 1-3 over spells. If he is going to be selected for One Day team, which I agree with, I don't if he is not handed the ball because their are more specialised batsman in the country than him. I was impressed with his batting in CL, I recongnise he is a great fielder to and that's important in the shorter formats but I just don't understand not using him to bowl. Either put him out the team and select another specialist batsman or use him for at least 2 overs. David Hussey bowled at least one too many overs for mine. A bowler like Hussey is a more a defensive bowler, Smith is more an attacking bowler you want both sorts in the shorter formats.

  • on October 14, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    This Cummings guy looks like the real deal! 18 is a bit young though I hope his body does not give out. If he lasts he could be one of the greats.

  • on October 14, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    typo, Cummins is 18 years old.

  • Meety on October 14, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    I was also surprised when I saw that Bolly hadn't played T20 for Oz before.

  • on October 13, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    he has a bright future..........

  • RandyOZ on October 13, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Cummins - what a gun, our future looks very bright. Certainly got England worried.

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  • RandyOZ on October 13, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Cummins - what a gun, our future looks very bright. Certainly got England worried.

  • on October 13, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    he has a bright future..........

  • Meety on October 14, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    I was also surprised when I saw that Bolly hadn't played T20 for Oz before.

  • on October 14, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    typo, Cummins is 18 years old.

  • on October 14, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    This Cummings guy looks like the real deal! 18 is a bit young though I hope his body does not give out. If he lasts he could be one of the greats.

  • AidanFX on October 14, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Good to see, exciting stuff. What is it with White and Ponting and Katich shunning Smith to Bowl though. The guy has proved in both 20/20 he can get break through wickets in 1-3 over spells. If he is going to be selected for One Day team, which I agree with, I don't if he is not handed the ball because their are more specialised batsman in the country than him. I was impressed with his batting in CL, I recongnise he is a great fielder to and that's important in the shorter formats but I just don't understand not using him to bowl. Either put him out the team and select another specialist batsman or use him for at least 2 overs. David Hussey bowled at least one too many overs for mine. A bowler like Hussey is a more a defensive bowler, Smith is more an attacking bowler you want both sorts in the shorter formats.

  • zenboomerang on October 14, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    @RandyOZ... as an Aussie I take the win with a grain of salt... SA dropped Watson on 2 & also fumbled 2 more... we bowled well and batted OK, but nothing spectacular... winning the next game is more important for showing intent & form... England?... lol... why should they worry, thumped us last summer and will have the same team for years to come... We have to bat a lot better to get to their level & come up with 2 pace men & a good spinner... we're not there yet...

  • jmcilhinney on October 14, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Cummins certainly does look a good prospect. RandyOz, I was wondering whether you could point me to the information that shows how worried England are about him. I'd be interested to read it.

  • Technical-1 on October 14, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Always nice to see a young Fast Bowler with Great Potential.

  • ajayrcs on October 14, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    I have noticed one thing, by watching Australia's match this year that Australia is the only team which can make a whole team with only FAST BOWLERS who can bowl more than 140 Km/h but its funny People like Greg Chap still thinks there is a drought of talent in Australia.