Cum­mins re­places Starc

New Straits Times - - Sport - Pat Cum­mins

MEL­BOURNE: Pat Cum­mins is in sight of a long-awaited sec­ond test af­ter be­ing rushed into the Aus­tralia squad to re­place in­jured pace spear­head Mitchell Starc for the re­main­der of the se­ries in In­dia.

Cum­mins has not played a test since his stun­ning seven-wicket de­but against South Africa as an 18-year-old in 2011 but he made a suc­cess­ful re­turn to first class cricket for the first time in six years this week with a man-ofthe-match per­for­mance for New South Wales in the do­mes­tic Sh­effield Shield.

Jack­son Bird is the back-up pace­man in the tour­ing squad, but 23-year-old Cum­mins is likely to be se­lected for the third test in Ranchi start­ing next week, with the tense four-match se­ries poised at 1-1.

“In se­lect­ing Pat, we were look­ing for a strike bowl­ing re­place­ment op­tion (for Starc),” se­lec­tor Trevor Hohns said in a me­dia re­lease yesterday.

“Pat has im­pressed in his re­turn to cricket this sum­mer with con­sis­tent per­for­mances in his ODI, Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional and Big Bash matches.”

Long touted as a fu­ture leader of the pace at­tack, the Syd­ney-born right-armer was the youngest Aus­tralian crick­eter to earn a na­tional con­tract in 2011-12 but has been be­set by in­juries since his bril­liant test de­but at the Wan­der­ers.

He un­der­lined his huge po­ten­tial with an eight-wicket haul to fire the state side to a comfortable home win over South Aus­tralia yesterday.

His re­turn to red-ball cricket was seen as con­fir­ma­tion of his avail­abil­ity for the Ashes se­ries against Eng­land in the com­ing home sum­mer.

How­ever, Starc’s se­ries-end­ing stress frac­ture in­jury changed the land­scape and Steve Smith’s side is des­per­ate to re­bound in Ranchi af­ter their fourth in­nings col­lapse in Ban­ga­lore squared the se­ries.

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