India v Australia - 2nd Test: Day 3

"We have been troubled by India at home in last couple of tours" - Pat Cummins says ahead of WTC final

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins has stated that India has been their toughest opponent Down Under in the last five years.

To defeat Australia in their backyard in the red-ball format is a herculean task, but India has done it twice since 2017. The Virat Kohli-led Indian side scripted history in the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) as they became the first Indian team to win a Test series (2-1) in Australia.


No other team has managed to register a Test win in the Oceania country in the last six years, let alone win a series.

India's #WTC23 final dream begins.

Despite suffering a humiliating defeat in Adelaide, the opener of the 2020-21 BGT, India bounced back in style, despite losing key players to various injuries. The inexperienced side, under Ajinkya Rahane's leadership, punched above their weight to upset a formidable Australia at their fortress in Brisbane.


India rode on the sheer brilliance of Shubman Gill (91), Cheteshwar Pujara (56), and Rishabh Pant (89*) to chase an improbable target of 328 and defeated Australia at the impenetrable Gabba in 32 years.

While acknowledging the stupendous efforts of India to beat them at home in successive Test series, Pat Cummins told ICC:

"I think at home we have been pretty formidable and only (beaten) by Rohit’s team (Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s team) in the last couple of tours… we have been troubled. Everyone is hitting their grooves and some are at the back (end) of (their) careers and at the top of their games."

Australia couldn't make it to the World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2021 after Cricket Australia made a unilateral decision to cancel the South Africa Test series in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the WTC 2021-23 cycle, the Aussies finished at the top of the table with 11 wins, three losses, and five draws. With a 66.67 win percentage, they qualified for the final this year.

"That (missing the 2021 final) has been the driving force behind the team and we deserve to play the final," Cummins opined.

"Our playing group hasn’t played too many (matches in) 50 years" - Pat Cummins on Australia's poor record at The Oval

A few Australian players haven't got sufficient breaks since January. The likes of David Warner and Cameron Green participated in IPL 2023 immediately after the conclusion of the India tour in late March. Marnus Labuschagne, meanwhile, played in the County Championship for Glamorgan in England.

Australia are scheduled to play five Ashes Tests against England right after the WTC final. Emphasizing the importance of a break during a tight schedule, Cummins, who opted against playing the IPL this year, said:

"Breaks are rare to come by. 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 a lot of training. We have trained hard, rejuvenated and refreshed and are keen."

Australia have won only seven out of the 38 Tests they played at The Oval. With a win percentage of 18.42, this happens to be one of their worst-performing venues across the globe. They have managed just two wins at The Oval in the last 50 years.

On Australia's poor record at the stadium, Cummins justified his present team's potential, saying:

"Our playing group hasn’t played too many of those (matches in) 50 years (at The Oval). 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."
Michael Neser could play his first Test away from home in the #WTC23 final


Australia suffered a big setback as fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out from the WTC final on Sunday, June 4.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

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