Sideways movement helped in challenging Pujara’s defence, says Cummins
Adelaide [Australia], December 20 Australian pacer Pat Cummins said that the sideways movement on offer at the Adelaide Oval helped the pace attack of his side to challenge the defence of Cheteshwar Pujara.
India stumbled to an eight-wicket loss in the first Test of the four-match series. On the third day of the first Test, India was bundled out for 36 in the second innings and Australia was given a mediocre target of 90 runs to go 1-0 ahead. Australia chased down the total comfortably in 21 overs with eight wickets in hand.
Pujara was dismissed for duck in the second innings of the first Test by Pat Cummins. In the second innings, Cummins scalped four wickets while Josh Hazlewood took five scalps.
“One of the biggest helpers was the wicket. It felt like there was a bit of sideways movement, so we could just challenge his defence over and over again, and having a bit of bounce in the wicket certainly helped. Nathan Lyon bowled beautifully to him in the first innings, but we’re really clear on what we want to do to him,” Cummins said in a virtual press conference.
“You saw we brought another man to the leg side as well, to try to really attack his stumps. I thought he batted really well in the first innings, but we bowled well enough for the scoreboard not to go anywhere. So you feel like when you get him out, if he hasn’t got onto that big score then you’re right in the game,” he added.
Pujara had scored 43 runs in the first innings of the first Test, but he failed to get going in the crucial second innings. After winning the first Test, Australia would go into the Boxing Day Test with a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
Cummins now expects a good wicket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the second Test. Around 30,000 fans will also be in attendance for the second Test.
“I thought the 2017-18 Ashes Test and the Indian Test at the MCG a couple of years ago were pretty flat and boring wickets as a bowler. Last year against New Zealand it was a really good wicket, it had a bit of sideways movement, pace, and bounce so hopefully much the same,” said Cummins.
“I think not only as a player, but a fan, they’re the best wickets when it’s a good battle between bat and ball and you feel like, if you perform your skills well, you can have a big impact on the game,” he added.
When asked to talk about the win against India in the first Test, Cummins said: “I think we have got a really special group, we have kept the same squad together, we had a great summer last year, we are at the top of WTC standings and we have a good chance of making the finals. For me, this win is right up there with win in Manchester last year during the Ashes.”
The Kohli-led side might have had a 62-run lead entering the third day of the first Test, but the side squandered the advantage as the batsmen failed to rise to the occasion and Australia made light work of the visitors. While Josh Hazelwood scalped five wickets, Pat Cummins took four. This score of 36 is India’s lowest-ever score in Test cricket. Before this, India’s lowest score was 42 in Test cricket against England in 1974.
India and Australia will lock horns in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beginning December 26.