Pat Cummins believes Australia’s experience of playing in high-stakes matches could prove decisive as it takes on South Africa in the second ODI World Cup semifinal at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.
South Africa holds a positive win-loss record over Australia in men’s ODIs, with 55 wins and 50 losses against the five-time champion. But Cummins is not too perturbed by the numbers.
“What helps us is that we’ve got a lot of guys that have been in this situation (knockouts) before. We have won the ODI and T20 World Cups and various other tournaments. You can draw on that in the middle of the contest,” the Aussie skipper said on match eve.
Cummins also provided an update on key all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who went for a scan on his right hamstring after training Tuesday. “Maxi’s all clear; he’s all good. Just precautionary,” he said.
Cummins weighed in on the controversy surrounding India regarding its supposed preference for a spin-friendly deck for the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand. “Yeah, I saw that. You know, obviously, ICC has an independent pitch curator who manages that, so I’m sure they’re all over making sure it’s fair for both teams,” he said. “So far, this tournament, the pitches that we’ve played on, I haven’t seen any issues.”
The toss could be crucial in Kolkata, with teams batting first having won 10 of the past 13 matches at this venue. There is rain forecast for match day, so it remains to be seen how that influences the captain’s decision.
“I had a bit of a look at the weather. It’s always kind of hard to judge,” Cummins said. “It seems to change a little bit, and one website tells you something and another one tells you the opposite. I guess it’s something to think about, but you can’t plan too much with the weather. So yeah, we’ll turn up and expect to play a 50-over match tomorrow; any of that shifts on us, and I’m sure in real time we can kind of adjust as needed. Yeah, it feels like it hasn’t really rained here for the last couple of months, so to see the weather for two days looking like that’s not ideal.”
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