Adelaide, December 20
One of the architects of India’s humiliating loss in the pink-ball series opener, Australian pacer Pat Cummins acknowledged the help offered by the lively track here and wants a similar “sporting” pitch for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Cummins (4/21) and Josh Hazlewood (5/8) produced a sensational performance as India collapsed to their lowest-ever Test score of 36, paving the way for an eight-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the series for the home team.
“I thought the Ashes Test (2017-18) and the Indian Test at the MCG a couple of years ago were pretty flat wickets,” Cummins was quoted as saying by ‘cricket.com.au’.
“As a bowler, last year against New Zealand, it was a really good wicket, a bit of sideways movement and a bit of pace and bounce, so, hopefully, much the same (this year).
“Not only as a player but as a fan, they are the best wickets – when it is good battle between bat and ball. You feel like if you do your skill well, you can have a big impact on the game.” Cummins had taken the prized scalp of Virat Kohli and Chetestwar Pujara, who will be expected to take a lot of responsibility in the remainder of the series as the India skipper returns home for the birth of his child.
Talking about Pujara’s wicket, Cummins said: “One of the biggest helpers was the wicket, it felt like there was a bit of sideways movement.
“We could just challenge his defence over and over again and having a bit of bounce in the wicket certainly helped,” Cummins said.
The Australia vice-captain also praised off-spinner Nathan Lyon for bowling well to Pujara in the first innings.
“I thought Lyno (Nathan Lyon) bowled beautifully to him in the first innings. But, for sure, we are really clear what we want to do to him. We saw we probably brought an extra man to the leg side as well to try and really attack his stumps,” he said.
“I thought he batted really well in the first innings. We bowled well enough for the scoreboard to not go anywhere. If he hasn’t gone on to that big score, you are right in the game.” Cummins termed the Adelaide result as the “most satisfying win as a group” and said it all started at the Manchester Test against England, which Australia won by 185 runs, during the drawn Ashes tour last year.
“I think we have a really special group here. I think the Ashes series a couple of years ago was the beginning and we have kept basically the same squad together,” Cummins said.
“Even the guys on the bench … they have basically been with us for all the Test matches or around the group quite a lot. We had a great summer last year – to start off this summer, is a continuation of that.
“I think we are atop of the world championship tables so a really good chance of making that Test championship final. For me, this is right up there with Manchester as our most satisfying win as a group.” PTI