Pat Cummins: Pink ball zips around more, captains have to manage tactics

Australia has won each of its four day/night Test matches so far against New Zealand, South Africa, England and Pakistan. India, on the other hand, has played just one pink-ball Test, winning it convincingly against Bangladesh

Cummins, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said there is always a sense of excitement when approaching a pink-ball Test.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Australia pace spearhead Pat Cummins feels the series opener against India will test the tactical acumen of the captains as day/night matches move at a “slightly different pace” with the pink ball zipping around a bit more under the lights.

Australia has won each of its four day/night Test matches so far against New Zealand, South Africa, England and Pakistan.

India, on the other hand, has played just one pink-ball Test, winning it convincingly against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in November 2019.

Cummins, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said there is always a sense of excitement when approaching a pink-ball Test.

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“...we are just a little bit, won’t say nervous, but excited, knowing that the game moves at a slightly different pace to a normal Test match. You can have some sessions under the lights where the balls just zip around,” Cummins told kkr.in.

“After dinner, when the light takes effect, just for whatever reason it seems like the ball zips around a bit more.

“You can have some periods in a Test match a bit like a One-Dayer, where the ball doesn’t swing, doesn’t seam, and all of a sudden out of nowhere it starts zipping around under the lights.

“It’s just another dynamic of the game. It’s a tactic that the captains have to manage – when to bat and when to bowl,” Cummins said.

India registered its first-ever Test series win on Australian soil in 2018-19. But the home side didn’t have two of its top batsmen -- David Warner and Steve Smith – in that series as they were serving their ball-tampering bans.

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Cummins said the fact that the duo is back in the squad will hold Australia in good stead in the series.

“We like to pride ourselves in winning all our home series. So yeah, definitely been looking forward to this one for a couple of years now. India had a better side than us a couple of years ago... Even though we shared patches I think overall, we were outplayed by them in that series,” he said.

“David and Smith coming back into the side, they are two of the best batters in the world, so of course it helps. We’ve also got a couple of younger guys who have now become really mature players like Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, etc., so that’s a big help.”

 

Young India batsman Shubman Gill, who is in contention for the opening Test, was Cummins’ teammate at KKR.

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Asked whether he had been studying him at the nets during the IPL, Cummins quipped: “I haven’t really. Maybe I should have. Might be too late now.

“I think every time India comes to Australia, there is a story of one or two young guys who kind of make a name for themselves in our Aussie conditions.

“Yeah Shubi (Shubman) is obviously a class player, and it will be interesting to see if he gets picked for India. (If he does) there might even be some friendly banter out on the field between the two of us.”

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