Cummins scalped 12 wickets for KKR in IPL 2020. The franchise tended to bowl him for three overs in the powerplay on quite a few occasions, although he was not at his wicket-taking best barring their last encounter against the Rajasthan Royals where he ran through the top order.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Aakash Chopra was asked how KKR can use Pat Cummins better. He responded the Aussie speedster will have to be used as a potent weapon at the start of the innings as he is not known for his death-bowling skills.
"He is not your gun death bowler, so that admission is important to begin with that even though we have paid him 15.5 crores and by his own admission the ball doesn't start swinging a lot more because you have been paid that kind of sum. So his job is to just make the new ball talk, take a couple of wickets at the top and break the back of the opposition's batting in the first six overs," said Chopra.
The former KKR player observed Pat Cummins will perform his role to perfection if he can strike early blows quite often.
"If he is able to do that on multiple occasions, he will be fine and then use the remaining couple of overs judiciously. I don't think you will be giving him two or three overs at the backend of a T20 innings," added Chopra.
The reputed commentator wants KKR to use Pat Cummins' skills with the new ball to the fullest and have someone else operate at the death.
"He has got bounce, he has got pace, he has got the ability to move the ball sideways after pitching but those attributes are great when the ball is new. So this is how you need to use Pat Cummins and allow somebody else to actually flourish at the backend of a T20 innings," pointed out Chopra.
With Sunil Narine no longer a potent threat, KKR will look towards Prasidh Krishna as one of their death bowlers and hope that Andre Russell is fit enough to perform that role at the other end.
"Pat Cummins can hit the long ball" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that KKR can also ask Pat Cummins to wield the long handle if Andre Russell is not at his explosive best with the bat.
"He is also batting well, so lets not discount that aspect of his game because if Andre Russell is misfiring from time to time, there is a Pat Cummins who can hit the long ball and he was fairly consistent with the bat in the 2020 edition. So maybe a bit more from the bat of Pat Cummins," concluded Chopra.
Pat Cummins was one of KKR's success stories with the bat in IPL 2020. The lanky Aussie scored 146 runs at a decent average of 20.85 and a strike rate of 128.07, including an unbeaten half-century against the Mumbai Indians.