Former middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif has said that the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been a contest between Pat Cummins and the Indian batsmen. He singled out the Australian pacer as the biggest threat for India on the final day of the Sydney Test.
Pat Cummins is the highest wicket-taker from either side in the India-Australia Test series thus far, with 15 wickets to his credit. Apart from his wickets, the lanky pacer has kept the Indian batsmen under constant pressure with his nagging line and lengths.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Mohammad Kaif and Ajay Jadeja shared their views about the impact Pat Cummins has had on the series.
Kaif pointed out that the battle between Pat Cummins and the Indian batsmen has been the defining contest of the series. He observed that the New South Welshman has caused difficulties for Cheteshwar Pujara, in particular, who was India's batting mainstay in their series win in Australia last time.
"This is the third Test match. It is clear the contest is between the Indian batsmen and Pat Cummins only. He has caused trouble for a batsman like Pujara and is not comfortable at all. His strength is that the ball pitches and moves away at speed," said Mohammad Kaif.
Mohammad Kaif highlighted that Pat Cummins can trouble even well-set batsmen with the probing line and lengths he bowls, adding that the Indian batsmen need to be wary of him on the final day of the Sydney Test.
"The angle at which he bowls and in that corridor, you can never be comfortable. Even if you are batting on 50 or 100, if the ball keeps pitching there, you are forced to play at it, and you are not getting any run from there also. I feel Cummins is the only bowler who can cause trouble for the Indian batsmen in this Test match," observed Kaif.
"Pat Cummins is a versatile bowler" - Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja replied in the affirmative when asked if Pat Cummins is looking like the outright leader of the Australian bowling attack. He said that the right-arm pacer has shown the ability to make an impact at any stage of the innings, saying in this regard:
"There is no doubt about that. He is not coming and bowling in one fashion. The captain has used him differently in different stages. Yesterday morning, when we were batting in the first innings, he came and bowled the short stuff as well. That time Hazlewood was not given the ball," said Ajay Jadeja.
While stating that Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have specific roles in the Australian bowling attack, Jadeja pointed out that Pat Cummins brings multiple skills to the table.
He observed that barring Rohit Sharma getting out with a short-pitched ball on the fourth day of the Sydney Test, almost all of his wickets in the series have been with deliveries in the corridor of uncertainty on or just outside the off-stump.
"When it is required to bowl short or to the tail, they have Mitchell Starc. Hazlewood bowls in just the one fashion. But Cummins has variety. Just like there are versatile batsmen, similarly he is a versatile bowler, but the wickets he takes, except the one with which he dismissed Rohit Sharma today, are with deliveries in the same line around the off stump but with varying lengths," concluded Jadeja.
Pat Cummins has certainly posed to be the biggest threat for the Indian batsmen in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far.
Cummins has not only emerged as a strike force for the hosts, but he has also applied a stranglehold on the Indian batsmen, as they have not been able to score enough runs off his bowling.Published 10 Jan 2021, 17:28 IST