It’s better to stay a bit underdone than overdone: Pat Cummins on lack of game time ahead of WTC final

Written by Mohan Sharma

Australia captain Pat Cummins doesn’t mind staying a bit undercooked going into the high-octane WTC final against India rather than playing two months of T20 cricket and landing up jaded for a gruelling English summer.

Asked if the bulk of the Australian side (save Cameron Green, David Warner in IPL and Marnus Labuschagne in County cricket) would be a bit rusty with virtually no game time since the India series, the skipper on Sunday begged to differ.

“Breaks are rare to come by,” said the modern day great, who has 217 Test wickets from 49 games.

“I have always said, with six Test matches (including five in the Ashes), it is better to be slightly underdone than overdone. I am talking from a bowler’s point of view. So I want to be physically fresh.

“Back home, we did lot of training. We have trained hard, rejuvenated and refreshed and are keen,” Cummins brushed aside talks of rustiness during ICC’s ‘Afternoon with Test Legends’ event at the Oval.

Terming the track as a good one with a lot of bounce, Cummins is confident that his team has enough bowlers to exploit the conditions.

“You need to know your moments to push for wickets. We need to get 20 wickets and there is no point trying everything in the first innings. We have plenty of bowlers to be used at different times,” Cummins said.

Australia have a dismal record of only two wins in last 50 years in Tests at the Oval, and their overall win percentage at the South London ground is a mere 14 percent.

“Our playing group hasn’t played too many of those 50 Tests. We have played few Ashes games, most of us. Few guys have scored runs and bowlers have had some pace and bounce. So it should be good,” the skipper said.

Cummins felt that his team has really turned the corner during this cycle of WTC after missing the bus last time.

In fact, he admitted that till they “missed out” on playing the final in the inaugural championship cycle in 2021, they haven’t really spoken about it.

“That (missing the final) has been the driving force behind the team and we deserve to play the final,” he said.

About the author

Mohan Sharma