EXCLUSIVE | Pat Cummins’ ‘toughest challenge’ returning from injury
Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins admits the “toughest challenge” he’s faced upon his return to cricket was getting used to the amount of overs he’s had to bowl on the Australian decks.
Cummins burst onto the scene in 2011 as an 18-year-old against South Africa under a Ricky Ponting led Australian side when he took 6/79 to get the tourists back into the game and chase down 310.
However, a series of ongoing injuries and stress fractures has limited Cummins’ career in the sport.
The 25-year-old spent six years away from the national team as he battled to recover from several extended stints on the sidelines.
Cummins said making his return to Test cricket in the subcontinent was challenging, but admitted playing at home has been a lot tougher.
“Over there, it’s obviously really tough going for fast bowlers, there isn’t a lot in the wickets, it means the spinners bowl a lot more,” Cummins said.
“In terms of actual overs bowled, you’re probably looking at 30 overs which is quite manageable.
“I think what I found really tough was last year’s Ashes Test matches.
“I find probably bowling in Australia is the toughest challenge physically so far with the amount of overs you need to win a game.”
Cummins also admitted that his bowling action has undergone a significant revamp on the back of his constant battles with injury.
“It certainly took time,” Cummins said.
“If I look back from when I was really young, my action’s so different, but it felt like a really gradual process.
“I think the good thing that kind of helped was with each little improvement that I made, not only was it easier on my body, but it also helped with my bowling trying to sit the seam up straighter and bowl maybe a couple of kilometres quicker and have more control.
“So working on that made it a bit easier, it didn’t feel like I was going a couple of steps backwards.
“(I’m) pretty happy where it’s at now, but it’s going to be one of those things that you’re forever going to try and refine your technique.”
On the back of Cummins’ remodelled action, he’s been able to consistently put some match-winning performances together for Australia.
The tall paceman has been a key figure for Australia across all three forms but was one of the few stars in an unsuccessful Test series against India finishing with 14 wickets.
Cummins has taken 80 wickets in the 18 Tests he’s played at an average of 24.51, while he’s also excelled in the shorter forms of the game.
He also averages 21.12 with the bat as calls for him to become an all rounder have grown.
Australia plays Sri Lanka in a two-Test series beginning on Thursday at the Gabba.
Click’play’ to hear the full interview below.