Australia's Cummins opens up on his approach to T20 bowling ahead of T20 WC opener against Oman

Sports Wednesday 05/June/2024 07:31 AM
Australia's Cummins opens up on his approach to T20 bowling ahead of T20 WC opener against Oman

Mumbai : Australian Test and ODI skipper Pat Cummins said that he tries to bowl his conventional hard lengths in T20 cricket instead of opting for "funky stuff" because it is not at his best and he tries to maintain balance by playing as per his strengths and also throwing something different to batters.

Cummins had a stupendous Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season with SRH as a captain, leading his team to the finals, where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on May 26. Cummins lifted the Orange Army from the bottom half of the table and changed their fortunes with a highly aggressive style of cricket, led by himself, openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma.

The star pacer will be in action during the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA, taking place from June 1 to 29. Australia has been grouped in Group B along with arch-rivals England, Oman, Scotland and Namibia. Australia will start its campaign against Oman on Thursday.

Speaking about his bowling in T20s, Cummins said to ESPN's The Cricket Monthly that he focuses on what makes him the best version of himself.

"So if I try and start bowling, I do not know, leg cutters and round-the-wicket funky stuff, that is not me at my best. I got picked [as a fast bowler] because bowling hard length is my strength. So it is always a balance in T20 cricket, in particular of mixing up your own strengths as a player but then not being too predictable and always throwing something different at the batters. In some games you walk off and you feel like you got that balance right, in other games you kind of rue one or two balls and feel like you should have tried a bit more or tried a little bit less. So it is always a constant battle," said Cummins.

On whether bowling in T20s is the hardest thing, Cummins said that the physical aspect of bowling in Tests remains the hardest but in T20s, it is the tactical element which is difficult, which is the same for every bowler.

"So it still feels like you can have a big impact. But I do not think anything's tougher than bowling 20 overs in a day's play, going to bed, waking up and having to do it again like in Test match cricket," he added.

Cummins said that being emphatic as a captain is extremely important, though he admitted that he does not get this right always.

"But you are part of a team, you are part of a group, and empathy is the way that you connect most of the time. I know how I feel when people are empathetic with me and it makes me feel better and more confident. So it is always something I aim to give a little bit back," he added.

On being troubled as a bowler by some of the hardest-hitting batters in T20 cricket like Heinrich Klaasen, Nicholas Pooran, Tim David etc, Cummins said that every team these days has atleast a couple of such big-hitting players, but overthinking about them causes bowler to lose half their battle.

"Every team realistically has a couple of those players. Again, it comes back to: you can worry about them or you can start thinking about what you as a bowler can do and how you can try and make an impact. And again, that is always the balance I always encourage our bowlers and myself to focus on: me and what makes me a good bowler," he said.

"Yeah, I might need a slight adaptation to the guy down the other end, but as soon as you are thinking about the batter down there and what he is trying to do and all those kinds of things, it feels like you have already half lost the battle. We come up against these guys all the time, sometimes they get the better of you, and sometimes we have a good day. That is T20 cricket," he concluded.