Australia’s former Test skipper Tim Paine has praised Pat Cummins for his exemplary leadership and performance with the ball after their triumphant World Cup campaign in India.
Cummins led from the front and finished with impressive figures of 2/34 from his 10 overs, picking up the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer to restrict India to a modest 240. His bold decision to bowl first after winning the toss was hailed by many.
Australia then rode on Travis Head (137) and Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out)‘s 192-run fourth-wicket stand to beat India by six wickets and lift the coveted trophy for a record-extending sixth time.
“When we won the toss, I think Pat Cummins shocked everyone a bit with the call to bowl first,” Paine told SEN Radio.
“They obviously had some terrific mail – and they all have a lot of IPL experience and have been there – the mail on that ground is that the dew comes in, and it is extremely hard to bowl in the second innings, and I think we saw that.
“The concern was, I think, that being an Indian pitch and potentially being a bit drier that it would spin and slow right up, and it didn’t do that, if anything it actually got slightly better,” he said.
Paine said Cummins did not put a foot wrong in the big finale on Sunday.
“I don’t think there was a thing last night that Pat Cummins got wrong. He was outstanding, and he deserves a lot of credit for that. Andrew McDonald and his coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for that,” he said.
“Bowling first was the first call. Then when we were bowling, you could see the homework that went into it. The fields we had early to Rohit Sharma, that deep point, slip and Glenn Maxwell at like a fly slip,” the former wicket-keeper batter said.
“Then to change that around as soon as they saw the wicket was a bit slower, and the ball got older to Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, at times we went with four guys on the offside and no cover. I haven’t seen that in one-day cricket.” Paine said Cummins had one of his “great game” as skipper in the title clash.
“When the Indian batsmen were trying to consolidate, Pat read that beautifully and brought Travis Head on and Mitch Marsh on to bank some overs when they weren’t really looking to take us on.
“I thought Pat Cummins had one of the great games as the captain, and then when he bowled, that’s as good as I have seen him for a while. When he went full speed, he was hitting the wicket hard, and I thought he set the tone.
“His captaincy was brilliant, his bowling was outstanding, and we were brilliant in the field as well,” he added.
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