Australia in South Africa 2011-12 October 17, 2011

Cummins into Test squad

101

Australia is not gambling with the future of the young New South Wales fast bowler Pat Cummins by rushing him into the Australia Test squad for the tour of South Africa, the outgoing chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has said.

Still only 18, Cummins has enjoyed a meteoric rise, and will now stay on in South Africa for the whole tour after impressing all who have viewed him in the two Twenty20 matches between the visitors and South Africa. He has played only three first-class matches, the last of which was the Sheffield Shield final between NSW and Tasmania.

Cummins' 48 overs to return 3 for 118 in the first innings of the final was the probable source of a back complaint that kept him out of two winter tours - Hilditch revealed Cummins would have been a likely visitor to Sri Lanka if he had been fit. But it also demonstrated his ability to sustain his pace and discipline over long periods.

There has been something of a debate between NSW Cricket and Cricket Australia over the best way to handle Cummins' development, but Hilditch said there was not a trace of doubt among the selectors about his readiness for Test match duty.

"I don't think it's a gamble, we think he is going to be real good and it's definitely in our view the right time to bring him into the squad," Hilditch said in Adelaide. "We have got to be careful, we are building it up in the sense that he's 18 and he's in the Test squad for Australia so it's a massive thing, but we don't want to put too high expectations on him.

"He's certainly in our view one of the most exciting prospects that have come along for some time, certainly if we're going to get back to the top of Test cricket I would imagine he's going to play a big role."

The two T20 matches in South Africa provided confirmation of what the selectors had felt when they made Cummins the youngest-ever holder of a Cricket Australia contract. In those games, Cummins returned figures of 3 for 25 and 2 for 26, encouraging the call to keep him on tour and put him in line to be Australia's youngest Test debutant since Ian Craig was chosen as a 17-year-old in 1953.

"We thought in the Shield final he showed that he can produce in the longer form of the game, so it's a combination of things," Hilditch said. "He has obviously got explosive speed for a young man, I would expect he'd get bigger, stronger and quicker, but also execution under pressure has been exceptional in Twenty20 cricket and hopefully that is going to convert to Test cricket."

In South Africa, Cummins has made quite an impression on the Australian squad, earning high praise from Cameron White and Shane Watson after his T20 debut. Watson said Cummins' level head had been noticeable.

"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."

White said Cummins had bowled "like a seasoned pro" and was the difference between victory and defeat in Australia's first match of the tour.

There was a strong possibility that Cummins and Pattinson would be considered for the first home Tests of the summer against New Zealand, but Cummins' rapid progress has outstripped that scenario.

Cummins' selection in place of the young Victorian quick James Pattinson is the only change to the squad that enjoyed a 1-0 series success in Sri Lanka.

"James is very unlucky to miss selection," Hilditch said. "He is a very good young fast bowler who has done well in his limited opportunities at international level to date.

"We're sure he'll return to the Sheffield Shield and place plenty of pressure on those in the Test squad ahead of what is a very demanding domestic summer of Test cricket."

Squad: Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson (vc), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Patrick Cummins, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on October 19, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Oz pace bowling has been 3rd class since 2007... neither Johnson (30.43) or Siddle (31.62) are strike bowlers; leak runs too easily; fail to build pressure... Harris (20.90) is a class bowler... Bollinger (25.92) seems unlucky... Copeland (37.83) yet to prove anything tho good on Oz decks so should improve in SA... Hastings (FC 24.95) will come back & should be above Jonno & Sids; both Butterworth (FC 24.50) & George (FC 28.76) unlucky... would prefer Harris, Copeland & Butterworth with Bollinger & George as first replacements... Butterworth is also a handy bat so could fill in as allrounder in ODI's...

  • timmyw on October 18, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    I'm sorry but that was pretty funny. I agree with Hyclass, what's wrong with proven performers in domestic first class cricket? I don't understand the logic of taking someone who hasn't done anything at all. I totally disagree with people saying he is ready. He's not. He has already had a back strain (that's a bad sign) and has 9 wickets in FC at an average of almost 50. He didn't deserve to be picked IMHO. I don't care if you bowl fast. Bowling fast is not the only criteria to being successful, everyone needs to start getting that into their heads. It's why Australia lost the ashes. We bowled FILTH, but hey we were pretty quick. You also need to get wickets and know your skills. I mean what happens if Harris needs more sticky tape in SA? That is not unlikely. Then he plays. Hey he might do well, but more than likely based of what he has done already he won't. So many deserving Bowlers around Australia I would have taken instead.

  • Meety on October 18, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    @ hyclass - where do you get the domestic FC stats from? Its got me buggered, I've been wanting to look things up but have had to either rely on memory (not a good practise), or be vague!

  • hyclass on October 18, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    @James Wheeler.If you had reserached Butterworth & Faulkner,I you would not have made those comments.In the 2010/11 season,Butterworth took 45 Shield wickets from 9 games at 17.53. He played 6 games at Bellerive,including the final,for 25 wickets.The first game of the season at the Gabba was washed out without Tasmania bowling a ball.At the MCG, Butterworth took 4/36 & 5/41.At the SCG,he took 4/26 and 1/43.At the WACA,he took 6/51 & bowled only 6 overs in the 2nd innings, 0/5. His tally away from Bellerive was,20 wickets from 3 innings & 6 overs at an average of 10.10,FAR BETTER than his record at Bellerive.On a flat wicket in Zimbabwe,he took 2/43 & in the 2011/12 opener in Perth,took 4/34 & 0/55 from 28 overs.His average at venues around Australia is as follows: Bellerive-26.32, WACA-20.29, SCG-27.54, Adelaide-19.62, Gabba-51, MCG-12.76. In his 2 away games,2010/11 season,Faulkner took 10 wickets at 10.70.He didnt play at the MCG.I hope this encourages you to research your opinions.

  • zenboomerang on October 18, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    @James Wheeler... silly logic... one of the best swing bowlers to suit Eng Vic Tas NSW Qld conditions came from WA - terry alderman... Melb, Syd, Bris is wetter than Hobart... your point?... SS Tas v WA at WACA... Hogan 46.4 / 140 for 7; Johnson 42.4 / 132 for 6; Butterworth 42.0 / 89 for 4... Johnson made the news, Hogan best bowler wasn't mentioned... yet Butterworth best bowler last summer and continuing good form is sidelinded... jonno must be Hildich love child... only explanation...

  • Meety on October 18, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    @James Wheeler re: Belreive, the pitch did do a fair bit last year, but for most of its FC use, Belreive has been a batsmens pitch. Tassie use to play for first innings points up until recently, Butterworths figures stack up over his career, you may or may not be right about Faulkner & Maher as their careers are shorter, but they did well in Perth! I would say Butterworth would be VERY good in England. @Timothy Cain - pretty poor comment. The only state (IMO - analysing the last 51 Test debutants), that has a better success rate than NSW for debutants is QLD. Dale & Muller were the worst players they have produced & their short careers were respectable. The worst NSW have put forward are Smith, Khawaja & Casson. At the time of Smith's selection he had a FC average almost 60 with the BAT, & was performing better than Hauritz (& O'Keefe a NSW player who really has got the raw prawn),with the ball. Khawaja has a 50+ FC average, with Casson (a former WA player), the only dubious record.

  • avmd on October 18, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Thats a Pakistani style of the recent past. Through the fast bowling talent in the deep when they are hot. Wasim Akram and Waqar Yunis were treated the same way and rest is history. Cummins is a great talent and is ready for the big league. I have already nominated him for the ICC emerging player of the year for 2012.

  • on October 18, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    I'm sick of Luke Butterworth and James Faulker being thrown around, they bowl in Tasmania where the ball shapes square off the seam and the overcast weather is constant. If you sent them overseas they wouldn't know how to break a partnership and I seriously doubt the easy bowling conditions down in Tassie has given them a sort of mental toughness. There is no problem with this, if someone gets injured Siddle will play. If another gets injured, someone will get flown to South Africa. Patrick Cummins won't play a test. This is about nurturing our young talent, something Australian cricket hyas been poor at for quite some time.

  • whitesXI on October 18, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    This decision just seems absurd to me, surely more can be achieved by allowing Cummins some match experience in the shield than sitting on a bench in SA. More to the point the test team should be picked on solid performance, not potential. Watching the T20's it's obvious that Cummins will gain a Test cap down the road there is no need to force the issue early. Final point - I know I'm biased as a VIC but what what more does Pattinson need to do? He's bided his time on the bench, has taken the opportunity when presented by taking wickets and has been consistent in doing so. Why drop him now?

  • on October 18, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Why are there no comments of outrage at the shameful selections of unproven New South Welshman while battle hardened champions from every other state remain neglected? Is there even any NSW players left to play for NSW? or are they all on test duties?

  • zenboomerang on October 19, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Oz pace bowling has been 3rd class since 2007... neither Johnson (30.43) or Siddle (31.62) are strike bowlers; leak runs too easily; fail to build pressure... Harris (20.90) is a class bowler... Bollinger (25.92) seems unlucky... Copeland (37.83) yet to prove anything tho good on Oz decks so should improve in SA... Hastings (FC 24.95) will come back & should be above Jonno & Sids; both Butterworth (FC 24.50) & George (FC 28.76) unlucky... would prefer Harris, Copeland & Butterworth with Bollinger & George as first replacements... Butterworth is also a handy bat so could fill in as allrounder in ODI's...

  • timmyw on October 18, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    I'm sorry but that was pretty funny. I agree with Hyclass, what's wrong with proven performers in domestic first class cricket? I don't understand the logic of taking someone who hasn't done anything at all. I totally disagree with people saying he is ready. He's not. He has already had a back strain (that's a bad sign) and has 9 wickets in FC at an average of almost 50. He didn't deserve to be picked IMHO. I don't care if you bowl fast. Bowling fast is not the only criteria to being successful, everyone needs to start getting that into their heads. It's why Australia lost the ashes. We bowled FILTH, but hey we were pretty quick. You also need to get wickets and know your skills. I mean what happens if Harris needs more sticky tape in SA? That is not unlikely. Then he plays. Hey he might do well, but more than likely based of what he has done already he won't. So many deserving Bowlers around Australia I would have taken instead.

  • Meety on October 18, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    @ hyclass - where do you get the domestic FC stats from? Its got me buggered, I've been wanting to look things up but have had to either rely on memory (not a good practise), or be vague!

  • hyclass on October 18, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    @James Wheeler.If you had reserached Butterworth & Faulkner,I you would not have made those comments.In the 2010/11 season,Butterworth took 45 Shield wickets from 9 games at 17.53. He played 6 games at Bellerive,including the final,for 25 wickets.The first game of the season at the Gabba was washed out without Tasmania bowling a ball.At the MCG, Butterworth took 4/36 & 5/41.At the SCG,he took 4/26 and 1/43.At the WACA,he took 6/51 & bowled only 6 overs in the 2nd innings, 0/5. His tally away from Bellerive was,20 wickets from 3 innings & 6 overs at an average of 10.10,FAR BETTER than his record at Bellerive.On a flat wicket in Zimbabwe,he took 2/43 & in the 2011/12 opener in Perth,took 4/34 & 0/55 from 28 overs.His average at venues around Australia is as follows: Bellerive-26.32, WACA-20.29, SCG-27.54, Adelaide-19.62, Gabba-51, MCG-12.76. In his 2 away games,2010/11 season,Faulkner took 10 wickets at 10.70.He didnt play at the MCG.I hope this encourages you to research your opinions.

  • zenboomerang on October 18, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    @James Wheeler... silly logic... one of the best swing bowlers to suit Eng Vic Tas NSW Qld conditions came from WA - terry alderman... Melb, Syd, Bris is wetter than Hobart... your point?... SS Tas v WA at WACA... Hogan 46.4 / 140 for 7; Johnson 42.4 / 132 for 6; Butterworth 42.0 / 89 for 4... Johnson made the news, Hogan best bowler wasn't mentioned... yet Butterworth best bowler last summer and continuing good form is sidelinded... jonno must be Hildich love child... only explanation...

  • Meety on October 18, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    @James Wheeler re: Belreive, the pitch did do a fair bit last year, but for most of its FC use, Belreive has been a batsmens pitch. Tassie use to play for first innings points up until recently, Butterworths figures stack up over his career, you may or may not be right about Faulkner & Maher as their careers are shorter, but they did well in Perth! I would say Butterworth would be VERY good in England. @Timothy Cain - pretty poor comment. The only state (IMO - analysing the last 51 Test debutants), that has a better success rate than NSW for debutants is QLD. Dale & Muller were the worst players they have produced & their short careers were respectable. The worst NSW have put forward are Smith, Khawaja & Casson. At the time of Smith's selection he had a FC average almost 60 with the BAT, & was performing better than Hauritz (& O'Keefe a NSW player who really has got the raw prawn),with the ball. Khawaja has a 50+ FC average, with Casson (a former WA player), the only dubious record.

  • avmd on October 18, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Thats a Pakistani style of the recent past. Through the fast bowling talent in the deep when they are hot. Wasim Akram and Waqar Yunis were treated the same way and rest is history. Cummins is a great talent and is ready for the big league. I have already nominated him for the ICC emerging player of the year for 2012.

  • on October 18, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    I'm sick of Luke Butterworth and James Faulker being thrown around, they bowl in Tasmania where the ball shapes square off the seam and the overcast weather is constant. If you sent them overseas they wouldn't know how to break a partnership and I seriously doubt the easy bowling conditions down in Tassie has given them a sort of mental toughness. There is no problem with this, if someone gets injured Siddle will play. If another gets injured, someone will get flown to South Africa. Patrick Cummins won't play a test. This is about nurturing our young talent, something Australian cricket hyas been poor at for quite some time.

  • whitesXI on October 18, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    This decision just seems absurd to me, surely more can be achieved by allowing Cummins some match experience in the shield than sitting on a bench in SA. More to the point the test team should be picked on solid performance, not potential. Watching the T20's it's obvious that Cummins will gain a Test cap down the road there is no need to force the issue early. Final point - I know I'm biased as a VIC but what what more does Pattinson need to do? He's bided his time on the bench, has taken the opportunity when presented by taking wickets and has been consistent in doing so. Why drop him now?

  • on October 18, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Why are there no comments of outrage at the shameful selections of unproven New South Welshman while battle hardened champions from every other state remain neglected? Is there even any NSW players left to play for NSW? or are they all on test duties?

  • Oztragic on October 18, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    You only have to cast your mind back as far as the current Aussie bowling coach to remember the pitfalls of rushing a young player in. Maybe we are looking too hard to replace Warne & McGrath and should be treading warily.Champions don't come along every day and some times we have to perservere with younger talent in the Shiled ranks while they grow into the batsmen and bowlers we deperately need. McDermott will be a great mentor for Cummings who is still growing into his body but as the saying goes if they are good enough they are ready. Time will tell but for Gods sake lets look after him and nurture both body and mind. It could be a great investment for the future.

  • mixters on October 18, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    Lots of people for lots against, I remember when McGrath was selected from only a handfull of first class games and we all know what happend then.Is he that good? did they see the same things in him that Bob Simpson saw in McGrath Hope so but only time will tell

  • dariuscorny on October 18, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    i love Oz cricket for the matter they are professional.but i see this more of a emotional desicion or u can say the aussie selectors are just carried away by his pace.this decision can hit back australia he is too young if he suffers it wud be a set back for him and australia and may hurt him in the long run.blood him into intl cricket gradually not at one go.let's see how he performs in the odi's.but definitely he's a future prospect and "can be the next big thing in Intl cricket".he can become one, if handled with care

  • Meety on October 18, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    @landl47 when quoting "facts" it would be nice if you put context in as well. Craig had National Duty & illness issues that dogged him & retired from the game at age 26 to pursue a fairly successful business career.

  • MinusZero on October 18, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Luke Butterworth anyone?

  • Meety on October 17, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @Dashgar - I disagree, see superficially you are right, but that does not take into account the standard of the Sydney District comp, which is the highest standard of grade cricket in the country. Also it doesn't factor in the fact that NSW is still the most populous state. I did a QUICK analysis of the last 51 players to get a Baggy Green (meant to be 50). Its not an easy analysis as a lot of players have changed States, I included Gilly as WA for example. There are 4 players have moved AWAY from NSW & then played for Oz. NSW have twice as many debuts as the next nearest state (QLD), but the quality of the players is far higher. Apart from Khawaja & S Smith & Casson, there hasn't been a poor start to a test career, unlike other states, WA 4 out of 8 have not performed, Tassie 3/6, SA 2/6 (inc Tait as this is a TEST analysis), Vic 3/7 (inc White as for the Tait reasons), NSW 3/16 (inc Smith, Khawaja & Casson). QLD have had no "duds" out of 8! Maybe more QLDers should be selected???????

  • on October 17, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    Just a heads up to anyone saying Hauritz and Bollinger should be selected. I agree with Bollinger but they are both currently injured at the moment!!

  • on October 17, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe should be in there rather than Beer for a start, and as for Cummins, I'd pick any of Butterworth, Starc, Faulkner or Cleary (and probably a few others) ahead of him...

  • straight_drive4 on October 17, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Im with davidpk - if he is good enough then he is good enough, age shouldnt be a problem. mohammed amir was absolutely carving up test cricket at 18 (if he really was 18 ha ha...) and he had no fitness problems. why cant pat cummins do the same??

  • timmyw on October 17, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    I don't mean to fan flames or anything, and I believe Cummins to be a genuine prospect after he learns to bowl, but honestly he should be playing shield cricket. To all the people speculating on whether or not he is more likely to be injured in a test the answer is an emphatic YES. You get an extra day to play in tests remember, the difference is not small. Also I believe if you are going to be selected for Test honours you should have at least a decent first class record. Cummins has done nothing. Neither did Lyon. Copeland was just on the verge. The list is actually pretty huge(it goes on). These kinds of selections are really just harming inexperienced players not helping them. These guys are players for the future, after they have gained some first class experience, perhaps a season in county cricket as well. selecting them when they are 22 with some first class experience instead of 18 just out of club cricket makes more sense to me. It's Test cricket, not backyard cricket.

  • RandyOZ on October 17, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    @hris, I agree, age has no effect on injury. I bet Harris has been injured his whole life. Age is simply not an issue and we should be picking on first class record. Bollinger, with 8 wickets against teams ranked above us and a questionable body/work ethic should definitely not be in the team, and obviously the selectors think so to. Based on first class record there is no reason why o'Keefe isnt in the team. If we aren't basing selection on record what are we basing it on? Potential? Turn it up.

  • FatBoysCanBat on October 17, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    New Zealand have a young quick in the exact same mould as Cummins, a bloke named Adam Milne. He bowls 150kph regularly, is only 19 years old, yet has only been considered for T20 internationals. It will be interesting to see whether the Australian approach or the New Zealand approach works out better in the long run. Personally, I think Australia's approach will benefit Cummins more than NZ's will benifit Milne

  • on October 17, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    Ridiculous decision - this is the sort of decision that will keep Australia down. Whatever talent he has needs to be backed up with better numbers than 9 wickets at an average of 46. I feel sorry for James Faulkner who is still only 21 but has 50 wickets at an average of 22 and can bat.

  • on October 17, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Its like selecting Warner for tests based on CLT20 performance. A really stupid choice given that there are bowlers who have been doing well consistently at first-class level. They could have probably look to tap into Luke Butterworth's all-round capabilities.

  • bumsonseats on October 17, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    if they think the guys good enough then age should not be a problem .the only thing for me is that his body has not fully developed and its ok to bowl 4 overs in T20 but he will have to bowl maybe 18 overs per day. the australian cricketing pubic will be hoping he does.dpk

  • milepost on October 17, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    Play him - as as someone said how is he going to be any more prone to injury in test cricket than the shield. If he has the head on him to learn more about his craft in the public eye bring it on - raw pace and fantastic control?? C'mon why wouldn't he get a place on South African tracks? The talk of 'too soon' is normally due to emotional development but they say this guy can handle it. I'll be watching if he is playing that's for sure. Why does he have to develop in the backwaters of Australian cricket for years when he can play against a great SA lineup - surely that's the best place to develop if he has the raw talent already?

  • Gordo85 on October 17, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    I fully agree with Tm Harmer's two posts. I think this is a big mistake because he is so young he has time on his side and you shouldn't try to rush him into things. It is silly just because he is good at one form of the game shouldn't mean he is allowed to play a Test when he has a poor First Class record at the moment. Maybe if he was playing well in First Class cricket or in List A but he is not doing well in both he is doing well in the form where it is least important which is twenty/20. More often than not bowlers get wickets in twenty/20 games due to batsman's mistakes which is often trying to hit them out of the ground but in other forms of cricket there is no real need to do that. Seven New South Wales players in the squad and only one Victorian the same old story. It looks like Siddle is the new Warne which means the only Vic most of the time.

  • jonesy2 on October 17, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Steven Andrews -- finally someone with some sense. chuck in maddinson, hazelwood, starc

  • SnowSnake on October 17, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Excellent choice. I saw him for the first time yesterday and was very impressed. It is hard to compare performance from T20 to test cricket. But, I think the kid shows some promise. Good job Australia.

  • on October 17, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    I had so many hopes on Cummins, even before the start of CLT20 I knew what he is capable of. But giving test cap is really toooo early. In any case if Cummins looses his rhythm or confidence it will be the responsibility of Hilditch.

    Every Oz fan will be happy that day, i mean the day when "HILDITCH WILL GO OUT".

  • on October 17, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Well im not dissapointed with this decision. This kid is the best young talent we have had in a long time. This kid could be one of those generational players. In 12 months i can see him, copeland, pattinson all bowling together. i would say that O'keefe is better in the longer format then the shorter yet the selectors have things the other way around. I also reckon khawaja could be a very good opening batsman. Hopefully warner keeps improving. Ferguson and Lynn in the middle order and Mitch Marsh. throw in tim paine and i think we have our side for the near future. Exciting times for Australian cricket. i know i have more interest in watching now.

  • hris on October 17, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    as for the injury concerns. There is no reason to think that playing shield cricket is not going to get him injured. There is just no basis for saying that if he plays international cricket then there is a higher likelihood of injury. i understand the performance argument but then again Pattinson(6), Coulter Nile(7) themselves have very little shield experience a few games more. so these guys have played 3-4 games more, hardly any significant experience. And Cutting is coming back after a long injury and I dont see anybody with more experience worthy of a test call-up. We already have experienced players like Harris, Siddle, Johnson and Copeland(a bit) in the squad. So why not give a promising youngster a go.

  • landl47 on October 17, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Only Ian Craig, in 1953, has represented Australia at a younger age than Cummins. How did Craig's career go? 11 tests, average 19.88, highest score 53. Cummins is promising, he has pace and he seems level-headed, but he's being picked, as was Craig, after a handful of games. Craig had scored a first-class double-hundred and people were calling him the next Bradman. Cummins is being given a similar build-up. He needs to learn how to bowl in long games if he is to fulfil his promise. I hope he'll turn out to be a great bowler, because genuine quicks are rare and exciting to watch. I can't help thinking he'd have more chance of doing so if he was given a bit more time to develop.

  • azzaman333 on October 17, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    I wonder if Hilditch has ever even seen Cummins bowl at all, let alone in a first class match. The sooner he's gone, the sooner we can start picking squads to win series.

  • popcorn on October 17, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Pat Cummins has been superb in the T20 games in South Africa - his bouncers, and slower balls will be tricky to play.He is a good find. With Troy Cooley and Craig McDermott to mould him, we've got a rising star! Michael Beer is a question mark.

  • stormy16 on October 17, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    This is great but my only concern would be if they break Cummins before he has had a chance to get seasoned. Difficult one this but if his body is not up to test stadards (he's hardly played any sheild cricket) he could have an injury which could ruin everything. Then again no point keeping the guy wrapped in cotton wool but when a talent like this comes along you want to ensure he is here for the long run.

  • on October 17, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    rates up alongside the selection of Bryce McGain on the last SA tour and that was a major fail!

  • on October 17, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    completly agree with timmyw i was going to say the same thing how can someone be picked in a international 50over squad when they havn't even taken a wicket in that format of the game, so to be considered for tests as well is crazy. Somes up australias crazy selections of the last few months micheal beer being another whatever happened to Hauritz?

  • on October 17, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    I'm an avid follower of Australian and world cricket. I'm an Aussie. So when I heard about Patrick Cummins selection for the tour of RSA, my first thought was, "Patrick who?" A quick stat check and we see he is 18 years old and has taken 9 wickets in three FC games at 46. These figures justify no comment. The only exceptional thing is that he has been selected at the age of 18 to play FC cricket. Now he is in the Test squad..... The outgoing Aussie selectors are still looking for that golden egg - that inspired selection that justifies their existence. Sachin was selcted to play for India at 16 but even before then he had made FC tons and impressed all. I am like the selectors in that I also hope to see raw, impressive talent unleashed on the cricket world from Australia but experience counts for much, and their track record has been dubious. What's the point of consistent Aussie FC players like Butterworth, Faulkner, and Cutting continuing when you have this type of selection process?

  • reddawn1975 on October 17, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    I still think its amazing that Callum Ferguson and Steve O'keefe are not playing in the test and one day teams so much talent going to waste there i would think they would drop Steve Smith in the odi's and T20's who to be honest looks a very average player nowhere near international level shocks me to see him get a game and he's had a long time in the side to do something but has delivered nothing bring in O'Keefe

  • on October 17, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Thank God Hilditch is going. Finally. Less crap decisions like this. "Hilditch said there was not a trace of doubt among the selectors about his readiness for Test match duty." Based on what? Oh, his gut instinct, again. The same instinct which has served Australian cricket so poorly in the past. Good riddance.

  • Buggsy on October 17, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Man this is aggravating. I'm sure Cummins is a fine bowler, but three first class games? Good riddance Hilditch. Shut the door on your way out.

  • on October 17, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Gud Luck Ponting !! m big fan of urs..m sure ur gonaa score lots of 'usefull' runs for ur side...unlike our indian hero tendulkar whose knocks oftne fail 2 producde wins 4 india... !!

  • timmyw on October 17, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Wow. I have been reading about this all day. Throwing Cummins into tests now is absolutely ridiculous. This makes me a bit cranky actually. He has done well in t20 (so what...) and has played all of 3 first class matches and 2 domestic ODIs. He hasn't even taken a wicket in List A yet at nearly 6 an over. Why is he not just playing first class for a couple of seasons and learning his trade? What happened to the Hilf? Surely he should have gone instead? So many questions and only stupid answers from Hilditch. Seriously this is a mistake, he has already had a back strain, let him develop for gods sake.

  • ozziefan08 on October 17, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Decent enough looking squad. I can't understand why they would take two spinners on a South African tour though. Last time we played there we didn't use a spinner until the last test. I doubt Cummins will play in the test series, just for him to experience the test set up. This is a massive series for Ponting he needs some runs or it should be goodbye from the test squad with Watson moving to four and Warner/Khawaja opening.

  • Bodmen on October 17, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Why take 15 to Sth Africa for a two test series. Cummins probably won't play and would be better off bowling in ashield match back home than sitting on backside for 3 weeks.

  • Brendanvio on October 17, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Poor Bolly. Selectors must have something against him.

    As much talent as Cummins has, shouldn't he have the results behind him to warrant his selection? That's what it took for Copeland to get selected. He had the results.

    And of course, no Steven O'Keefe. He must have offended someone too.

  • Matt. on October 17, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    I agree it's a little worrying rushing in all this new blood, but it's good to see it's quick a bowler for once. We've been sticking with the same Johnson/Siddle/Hilfenhaus combination for way too long. Let's hope he can keep his head and remember it's not all about pace

  • ZCFOutkast on October 17, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    You guys in Aus are blessed with talent. Won't be long before you're back at one. The only other nation with someone worth mentioning in the seam department is Eng with Finn, who is not that convincing himself. Wish us in Zim could start generating guys who can hit the ground running as well! In the following order, are these the best of your young quicks: 1cummins, 2pattinson, 3copeland, 4starc, 5peter george, 6faulkner, 7hazlewood?

  • on October 17, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    Once every 20 years or so there comes a freak young talent, Australia were blessed to have two in Warne and McGrath come in the space of 10. Cummins could just be that type of talent. While he probably should be given more time to develop in the Sheffield Shield competition the experience he will gain whilst on tour will be massive. I must agree with jonesy2, where is O'Keefe, sure his T20 series wasn't good but he is far better than Beer. After watching Beer bowl just last week during the Sheffield Shield I really wonder why he was ever selected, O'Keefe averages half as much as him and is a more than handy number 7 batsman.

  • Ulitmate_stars on October 17, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Cummins is a Excellent prospect to AUS Cricket, No Doubt... We were impressed when we saw him play in the CLT20. But the the lad is jus 18 years, and probably think the Aus Test cap at such an young age will have a affect in the longer prospects. Cricketers (especially bowlers) become more stronger only in they 20's so instead providing him a Aus Cap, they could have had him in the ODI's & T20's which would have made him stronger mentally & Physically. But hope so he does well and we get to c another impressive quicky in the world of cricket!!!

  • on October 17, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    @Michael Inglis To right!

  • Dashgar on October 17, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Anyway, whether they pick Cummins or not as long and Harris, Siddle, Lyon, Watson play we'll take enough wickets, whoever the 5th "X factor" bowler is will be largely irrelevant.

  • Dashgar on October 17, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    @Meety, I'm not saying that the NSW bias makes sense. There are no NSW selectors, you are right. But there is constant bias towards NSW players. How else can you explain the debut's of Hazelwood, Henriques, Starc, Smith, Hughes, Warner, Krejza on almost no domestic experience, not to mention Aus A appearances by Forrest, Maddinson and Cameron. All these players have been selected with players from other states questionably being overlooked. Now Cummins is just another on a long line of youth experiments, all the while the leading first class wicket takers (apart from Copeland, also NSW) are being overlooked.

  • on October 17, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    how cun only NSW players getting selectd..very biased...

  • hyclass on October 17, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Hilditch isnt stupid.Just incredibly self centred.He was the same when he played for Australia & his lack of credibility & judgement,even then,was the subject of international derision.Fast forward 25 years & little has changed.He has very cleverly killed two birds with one stone.It was Hilditch that contrived the story to discredit Bollinger & drop him.Bollingers SL form quickly dispelled ALL the claims Hilditch made against him.It must be remembered that Hilditch instructed Bollinger to play the IPL games & the perth Shield Match before the Ashes.Bollinger followed his injunctions to the letter & was left to carry the blame.The same happened to Hughes back in 09 with Hilditch & Nielsen.By playing Cummins,Hilditch was able to give a finger to Bollinger AND Argus at the same time,who discredited the entire selection panels processes.Australia is blessed with bowlers at this point who also have compelling records.Only the arrogance of Hilditch ignores that.His name will live in infamy.

  • warren_roby on October 17, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    How is Beer still in the squad? I am baffled how he continues to get named!

  • VivGilchrist on October 17, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Well, this just proves that NSW caps are reversible baggy-greens. 9 first class wickets gets you an Aussie tour. By the way..... when does Hilditch actually go? Might have to call in the Allied forces to remove him.

  • VivGilchrist on October 17, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Well, this just proves that NSW caps are reversible baggy-greens. 9 first class wickets gets you an Aussie tour. By the way..... when does Hilditch actually go? Might have to call in the Allied forces to remove him.

  • on October 17, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Crazy to see people talk about Cummins filling the gap left McGrath. 18 year old kid with NINE first class wickets under his belt in 3 matches, and a few more in the completely different game of T20. Unbelievable.

    I want him to do well, mind. But I'll make predictions when he's played 15 or 20 FC games. Something which the selectors aren't really encouraging him to do when he's being picked for the T20 internationals instead of NSW's shield opener.

  • naveenpnayak on October 17, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Bollinger had to be in the Test Squad.. He is the best bowler Aussie have as of now.. There cant be any replacement for Hayden, Gilchrist, Mcgrath or Warne.. These are True Legends of the game. CA should seek the assistance of these Legends to improve the quality of Cricket Australia. It wold be nice to see these guys giving some tips or coaching the younger guns on how to prepare themselves and give their best on the International platform.

  • on October 17, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Where is Doug Bollinger???y he is dropped out????

  • Gupta.Ankur on October 17, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    I think once again this shows how much selectors around the world value the performances done in IPL and CLT20.........i recommend every young gun to participate in the Highest level of domestic cricket....

  • anver777 on October 17, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Good prospect for Aus.....excellent start in overs format & i'm sure he will do better in tests too !!!!! can he fill McGrath's vacant position for Aus....

  • Winsome on October 17, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Love the way Hilditch says that 'we don't want to put too many expectations on him' then announces that he'll take Aus back to the top. Thank heavens Hilditch is going, we don't want to read anymore of his crazy over the top press statements. They seem to think that the kid is fit enough for test cricket, I certainly hope so. It's tough on Pattinson though, what's he done apart from perform nearly as well as Cummins in the T20's?

  • here2rock on October 17, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    A lesson for Indian selectors to take a punt and give someone young a go! All the best Cummins, you come from where I live!

  • hris on October 17, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    @randyoz. Spot on randy. Pakistan have always done this. When u consider that oz has better player management than pak, then why cant young players be brought in. People like wasim,amir came in very young with little first class experience. Infact you could say that for most Pak bowler. Amir was the most talented young player in the last 20 years. Surely oz can bring in young players without having this age argument all the time, if the player shows enough talent. Having said that, a couple of first class seasons wouldnt hurt either.

  • Dismayed on October 17, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    I would like to have seen Butterworth and OKeefe ahead of Beer and Siddle.I doubt Cummins will play so would rather see him in the first couple of domestic rounds to keep him bowling. Our bowling stocks are coming on nicely Pattinson, Starc, Hazlewood, Richardson, Cutting, Coulter-Nile, Faulkner, M.Marsh, M.Cameron, Lyon,O'keefe,Smith and a couple of others over the last week in domestic cricket improving when given the ball. We have Warner, Khawaja, G.Bailey time for a real rebuild.

  • themagpie on October 17, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Why is Mitchell Johnson (or as I prefer to know him - the Quade Cooper of cricket) still being selected. He hasn't performed for Australia for how long now? Give Pattison a run!

  • Bone101 on October 17, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    I'm scared for him, but i like it! Let's see how he goes in the ODI's and make a call after that...

  • sanzo5 on October 17, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    they should have hauritz back in.. he has done nothing wrong except a single travel to india

  • on October 17, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    He is the best among young talented lads, no doubt over that !!! We have't seen his performance yet in ODI's, i guess its too early to call him into the test squad. Doug has improved better than Siddle, Johnson and i would even say Harris over last 2 years.

    Most disappointingly Dropping Pattinson without giving any chance is ridiculous. His talent is overshadowed by Cummins. Thanks to Brett Lee, atleast now we got to know who is that Pattinson, he is another promising pace bowler just like Cummins for Oz.

  • katandthat3 on October 17, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Happy for Cummins, unlucky for Doug. Not sure we needed to pick two spinners for SA. Tough series as we all know. Harris needs to stay fit for both tests if we're in with a shot. I think we can make a great account of ourselves over there but there is a decent gap between 2nd and 3rd ranked teams and we're 4th. Certainly keen to watch our development over the next 3 Test series. This one will indicate where we really are and help us grow for the home summer.

  • rogan on October 17, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Cummins is a prospect, but I'm cautious of selecting anyone at 18.

    But I am most heartened to see Alvey lives on. Surely someone can select Alister McDermott, if for no other purpose than to shut those up who complain every time someone from NSW is selected. 8 wickets at 38 is highly comparable to Cummins' FC record (9 wickets at 46)

  • on October 17, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    why don,t they give a chance to mckay giving his best home

  • getaclue on October 17, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    @dashgar - that can be the only reason he has been inlcuded, that Hilditch wants to be remembered for discovering him. There is no form basis to it that's for sure. He'd be better served playing a full year of SS rather than running the drinks in SA.

  • jonesy2 on October 17, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    this is brilliant. he wont play i wouldnt think but he will gain a hell of a lot from being in the setup. still no okeefe? hmmm

  • Mooky on October 17, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    another Aussie saviour is uncovered, just like the other dozen that came and went

  • Meety on October 17, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    @Michael Inglis - yep, its so obvious that it's a conspiracy hey? Apart from Pup, you have to back to John Benaud for a NSWelshmen on the selection panel. It just happens that 3/4 of the good talent in Oz cricket is coming from the one state, & it will continue to be that way as long as Victorians keep their love affair with Ozzy Rules.

  • Naren on October 17, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    It is baffling not to see Callum Ferguson in any of the squads. He is such a good player to be left out.

  • on October 17, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Good luck to him, but seriously, he's played 3 first class games and taken 9 wickets at 46. He's the best Australia has? I really hope he does well or Australian cricket is going to turn into a joke.

  • on October 17, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    Don't forget his most attractive and important quality for the selectors -

    Major teams Australia, New South Wales, New South Wales Second XI

  • Taca2 on October 17, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Would have been better off leaving Johnson out instead of Pattinson - Johnson seems to be a 'protected species' under Hilditch and will again cost Australia dearly.

  • smudgeon on October 17, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    He did well in the T20s, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves! He's still quite young and developing. On another note: Michael Beer in the test squad again? I thought that ship had sailed when Nathan Lyon showed some success in SL. I'm not sure an additional spinner for the squad will be needed in SA, but I guess it's unlikely Beer will play anyway. Why not then keep Matthew Wade in the squad, or another batsmen? Eh. My preferred XI for the tests would be: Watson, Hughes, Marsh, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Lyon, Copeland. But I'd encourage Siddle & Cummins to be limbered up in (the likely) case of a Harris breakdown. By the way, those who grew up on cricket in the 70s and 80s: how good is it to see the name "Marsh" back in the Aussie squad! Let's hope he delivers on those promising knocks in SL...

  • sifter132 on October 17, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    No real surprises. The SL series was a great improvement from the Ashes and despite question marks over guys like Haddin and Johnson, it would have been pretty harsh to drop them just yet. Cummins? Yeah I dunno, he's got potential I guess, but a guy like Doug Bollinger must be annoyed.

  • D-Train on October 17, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Would be better off for his development playing Sheffield Shield than running the drinks

  • on October 17, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    Needs more Doug Bollinger.

  • aakash143 on October 17, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    i like his lenth and pace...even he can cross 150 km/h...future luk gr8 for this youngster..best of luck boi...

  • ajayrcs on October 17, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Australia can make 90's invincible again but still Australia don't have substitute for their best playlers like Ricky Ponting (Best Batsman), Glenn Mcgrath (Best Seamer), and Shane Warne (Best Spinner).Wht they have now as subs > Mathew Hayden= Shane Watson, Damien Martyn= Callum Ferguson, J Gillespie = J Pattinson, Adam Gilchrist = David Warner, Andrew Symonds = Moises henriques and have different talents too.

  • Moj3 on October 17, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    Oh please, give the kid a couple of shield seasons to develop himself first ... wow. Good riddance to Andrew Hilditch as well, please don't come back EVER again.

  • Dr_Van_Nostrand on October 17, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Andrew Hilditch strikes again.

  • on October 17, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    He is the future legend in Cricket....

  • RandyOZ on October 17, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    I am not sure why my comment wasnt posted but I am sick of the age argument, Pakistan teens have proved the arument wrong. Agree with hyclass on first class record but that he is young is coincidence. We should only be picking on record in my opinion but if he gets in the squad (what happened to Argus) age is of no issue.

  • bobagorof on October 17, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Hmm, yet another Test selection on the basis of T20 performances. Cummins is touted as a star of the future but I hope he isn't ruined by overexposure and expectation. I really hope he isn't required for either match, but I wish him well if he does debut.

  • Dashgar on October 17, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    clearly Hilditch is thinking of his legacy. He wants to be the one who discovered Cummins with no regard for if he's ready. CA should block this move and sack Hilditch immediately cos this selection is completely irresponsible.

  • bobagorof on October 17, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    I'm a bit concerned by the number of new players being blooded recently. Cummins hasn't been picked in the side yet, but with Copeland and Lyon having only played 3 matches each the bowling attack is light on experience. Hopefully Cummins will get something out of being in the squad, and Harris' fitness holds up so that Cummins isn't required. Having said that, I would prefer an inexperienced guy who is accurate and threatening to an ineffectual left-armer who sprays it everywhere!

  • on October 17, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @jagansanthanam Haha, so cliche. Don't get ahead of yourself, he's only got 9 first class wickets. He shows some great promise, but it does seem a little desperate for Australia to bring an 18 year-old into the test side.

  • Meety on October 17, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @ jagansanthanam - only if he gets injured & loses 20kph in speed! @Ben1989 - I agree although I read an article in the paper today stating the Cric Oz administrators are thinking he is the best teenage prospect in 30 years, since Craig McDermott! So IF he really is that good maybe he needs to be given a go. I am more in the "let him develop in the Shield" camp for the season. Happy for him to be in the Test squad "learning", but I'd like to see him back for NSW asap.

  • maddinson on October 17, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    its bit too early, he may not get a game immediately but it would've been good if they allowed him to play at least a season of Sheffield shield instead of with Australian team. J Pattinson is also with Australian team but yet to get a test cap instead of allowing him to play 4day matches. Good to jknow Hazlewood also started to bowl. Hazlewood, Pattinson, Cummins, Faulkner and Ben Cutting are my top 5 who will be future stars for Australian next generation.

  • Ben1989 on October 17, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    hmmm... interesting decision, I really think this guy needs to prove he can sustain his pace without hurting his body seriously in shield cricket before he starts playing internationally, yes he has great promise but no need to make the move this quick, we do have other options, although he's only in the squad so guessing he won't be first choice..

  • jaggi.jagan on October 17, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    He is probably the next Glenn Mcgrath !

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  • jaggi.jagan on October 17, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    He is probably the next Glenn Mcgrath !

  • Ben1989 on October 17, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    hmmm... interesting decision, I really think this guy needs to prove he can sustain his pace without hurting his body seriously in shield cricket before he starts playing internationally, yes he has great promise but no need to make the move this quick, we do have other options, although he's only in the squad so guessing he won't be first choice..

  • maddinson on October 17, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    its bit too early, he may not get a game immediately but it would've been good if they allowed him to play at least a season of Sheffield shield instead of with Australian team. J Pattinson is also with Australian team but yet to get a test cap instead of allowing him to play 4day matches. Good to jknow Hazlewood also started to bowl. Hazlewood, Pattinson, Cummins, Faulkner and Ben Cutting are my top 5 who will be future stars for Australian next generation.

  • Meety on October 17, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @ jagansanthanam - only if he gets injured & loses 20kph in speed! @Ben1989 - I agree although I read an article in the paper today stating the Cric Oz administrators are thinking he is the best teenage prospect in 30 years, since Craig McDermott! So IF he really is that good maybe he needs to be given a go. I am more in the "let him develop in the Shield" camp for the season. Happy for him to be in the Test squad "learning", but I'd like to see him back for NSW asap.

  • on October 17, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @jagansanthanam Haha, so cliche. Don't get ahead of yourself, he's only got 9 first class wickets. He shows some great promise, but it does seem a little desperate for Australia to bring an 18 year-old into the test side.

  • bobagorof on October 17, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    I'm a bit concerned by the number of new players being blooded recently. Cummins hasn't been picked in the side yet, but with Copeland and Lyon having only played 3 matches each the bowling attack is light on experience. Hopefully Cummins will get something out of being in the squad, and Harris' fitness holds up so that Cummins isn't required. Having said that, I would prefer an inexperienced guy who is accurate and threatening to an ineffectual left-armer who sprays it everywhere!

  • Dashgar on October 17, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    clearly Hilditch is thinking of his legacy. He wants to be the one who discovered Cummins with no regard for if he's ready. CA should block this move and sack Hilditch immediately cos this selection is completely irresponsible.

  • bobagorof on October 17, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Hmm, yet another Test selection on the basis of T20 performances. Cummins is touted as a star of the future but I hope he isn't ruined by overexposure and expectation. I really hope he isn't required for either match, but I wish him well if he does debut.

  • RandyOZ on October 17, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    I am not sure why my comment wasnt posted but I am sick of the age argument, Pakistan teens have proved the arument wrong. Agree with hyclass on first class record but that he is young is coincidence. We should only be picking on record in my opinion but if he gets in the squad (what happened to Argus) age is of no issue.

  • on October 17, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    He is the future legend in Cricket....