Pat Cummins heads into the One-Day International series against India as the leader of an inexperienced Australian pace attack after a busy few months that started with the Test series in India in March, but his team management no plans of resting him at least for the initial games.
David Saker, Australia’s fast bowling coach, said Cummins would be a sure starter come Sunday, when the first of five ODIs takes place in Chennai, although the pacer whose career has been blighted by injuries bowled 63 overs in two Tests against Bangladesh in oppressive conditions on Australia’s recent tour.
“At this stage we’re planning for him to play all the games,” said Saker, who is standing in as head coach for Darren Lehmann on this tour. “We’ll look at (resting him), it’s obviously been brought up between all of us.
“We know that his workloads are up there, but we know it’s an important series. It’s Australia v India, you don’t get any bigger than that. He’s really determined to play well over here. It’ll be game-by-game basis, we’ll play it by ear.”
Australia have to rely on Cummins as the other frontline pacers – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson – are missing out due to injuries.
Saker, however, said he was happy for them to miss the limited-overs matches in India as long as they were available for the Ashes at home later in the year.
“We’re hoping that they’ll be ready before the first (Sheffield) Shield game or second Shield game and that will give them good preparation,” he said. “We’ve probably got a bit of a blessing that we’ve got three Shield games before the first Test of the Ashes and it’s probably as good a build-up as you’d want for an Ashes. So in that sense as long as they’re ready to go by the first Test in Brisbane and ready to play and perform, I’ll be really happy.”
Saker drew parallels to last year when Starc and Hazlewood were rested for an ODI series in South Africa, which enabled them to play all six Tests during the home summer and the first two Tests in India before Starc returned home with a foot injury.
“This time last year we were in South Africa and it was the same thing, Hazlewood and Starc were rested for that tour,” pointed out Saker. “And they got through a really heavy workload in the summer, got through all the Tests. It’s not such a bad thing that they’re not here, as long as they’re ready to go for that first Test in Brisbane.”