Pat Cummins expects Tests to be more fiery than ODIs, T20Is

After the cordial commune of the ODIs and T20Is, Pat Cummins expects the Test series, starting from December 17, to bring the aggression out.

Australia paceman Pat Cummins   -  Getty Images

There has been a lot of goodwill and friendliness going around this Australia-India summer so far. From Cameron Green being surprised by KL Rahul's niceties behind stumps to Aaron Finch and Rahul sharing a laugh after the Aussie skipper was hit, the limited-overs leg of this two-month-long tour has belied the intense India-Australia sporting rivalry that has taken shape in recent times.

But the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy is less than a week away and that means things could change. Remember India's tour to Australia in 2018-19, when at different points, both captains - Virat Kohli and Tim Paine - were involved in heated exchanges? 

After the cordial commune of the ODIs and T20Is, Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins expects the Test series, starting with the day-night game in Adelaide from December 17, to bring the aggression out.

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“I wouldn't be surprised if with the players getting baked in the sun a couple of more hours each day, the Test matches get a little fiery,” Cummins said, speaking in a virtual press conference on Friday.

“I think it's [the tour] been quite friendly in terms of banter - you see a lot of smiling faces around. That said, you see a lot of quick bowling out there, lots of batters taking the game on. So, I won't say that the actual match play has been overly friendly, it's been really competitive and hard. How we play the game reflects who we are as people and for the most part, the Aussie team is a pretty relaxed bunch, we like a bit of a laugh, so let's see what happens in this series.”

Kohli is set to miss three out of the four Tests as he is due to return home for the birth of his first child. In the six limited-overs internationals against Australia in 12 days, Kohli has shown sporadic sparks of brilliance with the bat.

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There was the 61-ball 85 in the final T20I in Sydney which India lost, and then the 87-ball 89 in the second ODI at the same venue; yet again in a losing cause. The Indian captain would want to stamp his authority in whites one last time in 2020 when the Adelaide Test gets underway. And Cummins weighed in on the challenge of bowling to Kohli. "I know he's the captain, so of course, you want to get into that contest because it's a really important part of the game," he said.

"I'm happy I don't have to bowl to Steve smith. I saw Kane Williamson's double hundred last week. So, I'm pretty glad I'm not playing there [in New Zealand] as well. I think when you are in the moment, you try and maybe lift [the rivalry with the opposition batsman] a little bit. You sense it at the wicket when someone walks out there. In terms of how it affects the overall storyline, I don't think about it too much. But growing up as kids, they are the kind of contests that you tuned into TV. I remember (Glenn) McGrath bowling to (Brian) Lara; you had to watch it because you knew something was going to happen. I like being in those moments, let's see what happens this summer."

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Asked whether the Aussie think tank has come up with a game plan to counter Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 521 runs and faced 1258  deliveries on the 2018-19 tour, Cummins said: "To be honest, we haven't spoken yet. We only got into the camp a couple of days ago. We will sit down and have a couple of meetings and like we do at most training sessions, the bowlers will be talking to each other and come out with some plans. I must concentrate on what I do well as a bowler and the same goes for the other guys. Of course, you might tweak your plans slightly for a certain batter, but hopefully, a couple of years on, we are all better equipped as bowlers."

Cummins on Test captaincy

“I feel out of all formats, Tests are the easiest for a bowler to captain. You are busy and you got to be out there… putting a lot of effort into your bowling. That said, there's a bit of time that's afforded to you in Tests, the game moves at a slightly softer pace. I know there haven't been too many bowling captain's but I don't understand why it has to be a batter…”

Cummins on conditions and the wicket

"First of all, a fair balance between bat and ball. I don't think a Test match where a team can get 600 is good viewing for anyone, so hopefully a really fair contest. Obviously here in Australia we want the kind of conditions that reflect Australia, think the best Test matches are when there is pace and bounce in the wickets. Adelaide Oval has been a really good wicket each time I've played. So, a bit of pace and bounce and hopefully a bit of spin for Lyno [Nathan Lyon] too."