Cum­mins rested for the Tests

Mercury (Hobart) - - CRICKET -

SCOTT BAI­LEY

PAT Cum­mins will be rested from the last Twenty20 against Pak­istan as Aus­tralia turns one eye to­wards the first Test at the Gabba in Bris­bane.

The Aussies flew from Can­berra to Perth yes­ter­day with­out Cum­mins, who was sent back to Syd­ney to re­cover and pre­pare for red-ball cricket. It’s ex­pected he will play in next week’s Sh­effield Shield match for NSW against Western Aus­tralia at the SCG, along­side Mitchell Starc, Josh Ha­zle­wood, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith and David Warner.

It will mark his only long­form hit out be­fore the Novem­ber 21 Test, with the team set to ar­rive in camp in Bris­bane on Sun­day week.

“It’s a little bit of re­cov­ery and pre­par­ing for the Test match,” Aus­tralian coach Justin Langer said yes­ter­day.

“We’ve got so much cricket on and he plays a lot of it so we’ve got the op­por­tu­nity for him not to take the long flight to Perth.”

Billy Stan­lake would be ex­pected to come into Aus­tralia’s team, while Sean Ab­bott could also be called upon as an ex­tra quick de­pend­ing on the sur­face. Re­gard­less, Cum­mins’ five-match stint in Twenty20 colours marked his big­gest run in the for­mat since the 2012 T20 World Cup.

Starc will also likely fin­ish the week with five T20s to his name in the space of a fort­night, af­ter miss­ing a game last week for his brother’s wed­ding. The dif­fer­ence has been no­table for the Aus­tralians.

With their bowling at­tack at full strength, neither Pak­istan nor Sri Lanka have been able to score at more than 7.5 an over against the Aussies in any of the five games.

Both Cum­mins and Ash­ton Agar have gone at less than a run a ball for the start of the sum­mer, while Starc has only gone at a tick above that rate. Langer has vowed to try to keep the same ap­proach for T20 se­ries in NZ, South Africa and Eng­land be­fore home se­ries against the West Indies and In­dia next year.

“In the past we have used th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties to rest some of those guys,” Langer said. “But we need to get bet­ter at it, it’s some­thing that is a pri­or­ity for Aus­tralian cricket. So there­fore you want to play your best play­ers as of­ten as you can. We’re play­ing a re­ally good de­fen­sive game.

“In T20 I’ve thought for seven or eight years that how you’re bowling unit plays and how you field is im­por­tant.”

TIME OFF: Pat Cum­mins will miss tomorrow’s T20 game in Perth.

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