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Cummins gears for quick Adelaide track

Pat Cummins hopes three wickets against Scotland will be enough to hold his place for Australia's quarter-final in Adelaide, on what he described as the fastest pitch he has played on this summer

Brydon Coverdale
Brydon Coverdale
Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc took seven wickets between them, Australia v Scotland, World Cup 2015, Group A, Hobart, March 14, 2015

Pat Cummins said that the diversity of Australia's pace attack gave the side the flexibility to be aggressive in the middle overs  •  Getty Images

Pat Cummins hopes three wickets against Scotland will be enough to hold his place for Australia's quarter-final in Adelaide, on what he described as the fastest pitch he has played on this summer. There have been a number of personnel changes throughout Australia's campaign but the position currently held by Cummins is the one that seems to have rotated the most.
Josh Hazlewood was used in the first match against England, Cummins played against New Zealand in Auckland, Hazlewood came back in to take on Afghanistan in Perth, spinner Xavier Doherty had a chance in Sydney against Sri Lanka, and Cummins was back for Saturday's victory over Scotland in Hobart. A side injury kept Cummins out against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, but now he is fully fit again.
"I have done my side two or three years ago and that was a real bad one, but this time I could tell it was nowhere near anything similar," Cummins said. "But I did need that week's rest or I wouldn't have been ready for the last couple of games."
Cummins returned against Scotland and although he struggled to contain their top order early; Calum MacLeod punched him for two boundaries through point in his first over, and two more in his second over. However, Cummins had been bowling into a substantial breeze, and when he switched ends later he picked up three wickets in his first 13 deliveries from the Church St End.
That success should hold Cummins in good stead when the selectors choose the side to take on Pakistan in next Friday's quarter-final at Adelaide Oval. Cummins took 3 for 30 there in a World Cup warm-up against India and also enjoyed the pace in the pitch when he played a T20 against South Africa there earlier in the summer.
"I've played two games this year there and it's been great," Cummins said. "It's been fast, bouncy both games I've played there. It's been probably close to the quickest wicket I've played on this year I reckon so obviously with a few of us guys trying to bowl quicker I think it's going to favour us."
Australia's pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and either Cummins or Hazlewood was always likely to suit the Australian conditions and so it has proved, with Starc especially causing chaos with his swing throughout the campaign. Doherty was used in only one match without much success, and otherwise Australia have mostly relied on Glenn Maxwell for their spin needs.
"I think in one-dayers, it's probably easy to let the middle overs run through, and batsmen try and accumulate plenty of singles," Cummins said. "I think with fast bowlers you can try and rough them up or have a bit more flexibility of trying to be aggressive through those middle overs so hopefully it's one thing that sets us apart and hopefully it's a positive."
Although Cummins came through the Scotland match without any injury concerns, there was one worrying moment when his right foot slid underneath him during his approach to the crease and he crashed to the ground. The same thing had happened during his first over in the loss to New Zealand in Auckland, and Cummins said he had become used to occasionally slipping in that manner.
"I have done it about six or seven times in the nets, I just fall over," Cummins said. "I should stop doing it. My back foot lands on one of the spikes every ball and if I miss it slightly it folds underneath me but I have done it enough not to get too worried about it."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale