Cummins looks ‘fit and strong’, says former paceman Nannes

Dirk Nannes voices his impressions of the 23-year-old Pat Cummins, and rues the injury-forced omission of Mitchell Starc, in a short chat.

Dirk Nannes has played international cricket for Australia and Netherlands.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Dirk Nannes is a blithe spirit who loves conversations and laughter. For the batsmen though, he was not a pleasant sight. He could bowl real quick during his playing days. Nannes made them duck and weave with his left-arm thunderbolts. An interesting character, Nannes, in fact, was a professional skier before turning his attention to cricket.

The former Aussie fast bowler, watching the cricketing action here, was impressed with the injury-returned Pat Cummins. “What strikes me about Cummins is his hostility, accuracy and his variations. He uses the crease very well. He has been exceptional here,” Nannes told Sportstar here on Sunday.

Nannes elaborated, “As you can see, he has a nasty short ball. And he has been able to send a lot of overs here. He’s looking fit and strong.”

The Melbourne-born Nannes was looking forward to Cummins teaming up with Mitchell Starc. “That would be something, isn’t it? I don’t think a lot of batsmen would appreciate that. Right arm, left-arm, both genuinely fast with a lot of bounce, there would be no respite for the batsmen. I can’t wait to see that happen.”

The 40-year-old was rather disappointed that Starc had to return owing to fitness concerns. “With his pace, angle, ability to pitch the new ball up and get it to move both ways and reverse the old, Starc is very, very good.”

Difficulties for pacers

The fourth day here being an example, Nannes comprehended the difficulties for pacemen on the Indian wickets “There isn’t much pace and bounce, so air speed is a big factor. Also reverse swing, it plays a key role. Either you need to bowl at telling pace or have to swing the ball. There is not much point in bowling around 130 kilometres per hour (kmph) and having little movement.”

Nannes saw a marked improvement in Indian paceman Umesh Yadav’s bowling. “I played with him for Delhi Daredevils but he has come on a lot since then. Previously, there used to be jerk in his action. Now his action is a lot smoother. And he is bowling a better line too, around off. Earlier, there were times when he bowled down leg-stump.”

A relentless traveller, Nannes will be off to another destination after this series.