Pat Cummins: Australia’s lack of aggression against India was to win back fans

The team was keen to follow a new path after criticisms of its win-at-all-costs mentality, the fast bowler says.

Pat Cummins celebrates his five-wicket haul in the third Test between Australia and India in Melbourne on December 29, 2018. Cummins played all four Tests of that series, taking 14 wickets.   -  Getty Images

Australia’s lack of aggression against India during the Test series in 2018-19 was more about winning back fans than protecting IPL contracts, fast bowler Pat Cummins has said.

The India series was only the second Test series after the ball-tampering controversy that led to the suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner due to their role in the infamous ball-tampering episode that triggered criticisms of Australia’s win-at-all-cost mentality.

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“I think probably a bigger factor was six months before leading into that Indian series, the media and everyone commentating on the Aussie cricket team were pretty clear in their direction in the way they wanted the Aussies team to go, and that was playing a little bit less aggressively out on the field,” Cummins, who was purchased in the IPL auction for ₹15.5 crore, told the BBC.

However, Cummins didn’t rule out the possibility of some players thinking about their IPL pay-cheques. “I’d say that would have been a bigger factor than trying to win or lose friends out on the cricket field. But you never know, that might have been a factor for some players,” he said.

Australia captain Tim Paine on Thursday rubbished Michael Clarke’s claims of the consideration of IPL pay-cheques playing on the minds of the players. He said the team avoided provoking “any fight” with Kohli only to keep him quiet.

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