IND vs AUS: Cummins on why Australia has been effective against Pujara

Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Pat Cummins has dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara three times in four innings this series and conceded just 14 runs from the 80 deliveries he has bowled to India's No. 3 so far.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins celebrates with teammates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara in the second Test at MCG.   -  Getty Images

Beyond outcomes and heroics, sometimes the purest joy of cricket lies in the experience of watching two players go up against each other.

When the bowler pulls a great technical move and the batsman finds a way to escape the trap; the battles-within-the-battle often end up defining the series and etch the contest even deeper in memory. The 2018-19 tour comes to mind, when Cheteshwar Pujara scored 521 runs and faced 1,258 deliveries, and paved the way for India's historic 2-1 series win Down Under.

But, two summers later, Australia seemed to have found an answer to its nemesis and one man is at the centre of it at the moment: Pat Cummins. Cummins has dismissed Pujara three times in four innings this series and conceded just 14 runs from the 80 deliveries he has bowled to India's No. 3 so far.

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However, when asked why the Australians have been effective against Pujara this Border-Gavaskar series, Cummins played down the suggestion that the host had hit upon a winning strategy. "I would love to say it's a big, grand plan that has changed things (smiles), but the reality is I don't know," Cummins said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

"We're just trying to bowl good balls and make him decide whether he should play or leave it and do it for as long as we can. Fortunately, so far it's come off pretty early in his innings so long may it continue, but there's nothing drastically that's changed. We've just got to concentrate on what we do well for longer [period]," he added.

Quite settled

Cummins also praised young India opener and Kolkata Knight Riders teammate Shubman Gill's refreshingly stroke-filled approach on Test debut in Melbourne, where India won by eight wickets to level the series 1-1. "Shuby (Gill) looked good in his first Test. He is quite a calm character. Looks like, similar way he wants to play, wants to take the game on, which as a bowler provides opportunities, some days it will come off, some days it won’t," Cummins said.

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About Australia's bowling performance at the MCG, Cummins said: "I thought our execution was really good. We created a lot of chances, especially in that first innings. To bowl a side out for 300 at the MCG, which was a really good wicket, and create so many chances is a big tick. So we're pretty happy in that regard. Of course, there are things to work on - (Ajinkya) Rahane batted beautifully and got a hundred, so we'll look at what we could have done differently and review that."

The third Test will begin from January 7, 2021 on Sony six, Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 channels.

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