Pat Cummins, the Australia paceman, who won the prestigious Allan Border Medal on Monday, 11 February, said he was looking to improve his swing bowling capabilities ahead of the Ashes in England, starting from August.
“There’s definitely things I always try and improve every time I train,” said the 25-year-old. “Obviously, swing is going to be quite a big factor (in England).
“A lot of the Tests here (in Australia), the ball doesn’t really swing too much. So getting over there, preparing well, and trying to improve my swing bowling, that’s definitely one thing. Someone like [Mitchell Starc] bowled 150kph all summer, so (I am) trying to maintain pace like that. Every time I play and bowl I feel like I learn a little bit more.”
Cummins had a terrific year, culminating with the big prize at the Australian Cricket Awards. He picked up 52 wickets across formats, at an average of 22.01. He recently was adjudged Player of the Series in the Test series against Sri Lanka, which Australia won 2-0 at home.
Having struggled with injuries since making an impressive international debut in 2011, Cummins has finally had a couple of years free of regular spells in the sick bay, and has gained in confidence.
“If you play a lot of cricket and you get injured, you can deal with that,” he said. “This year I had a few months off with a back issue but I’d played so much cricket beforehand that I knew those big worries of the past were hopefully behind me for a while.
“I just had a lot of confidence and knew I’d come back bowling well, get back in the side and all things going well, have a good summer like I did the previous year.
“Just having the ability to look in the diary ahead and plan out tours in my head, and just worry about bowling well as opposed to if I’m going to be in the side or if I’m going to be fit enough.”