Cummins rested for the Tests
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.