14/04/2024
Pat Cummins. Picture: Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

Pat Cummins. Picture: Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

Australian captain Pat Cummins confirmed the same side to face New Zealand from the last game in the second test at Hagley Oval from Friday.

Australian pacer Scott Boland could be on a flight back to Melbourne to participate in Victoria’s crucial Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia on Monday.

Boland’s last test appearance was in the Ashes last year, and he has been unable to break into the Australian XI over the summer.

Cummins confirmed the talks about potentially sending Boland back ahead of the Sheffield Shield game.

“There was some talk of maybe sending Scotty back for Victoria but holding Nes back for Queensland just to annoy Marnus (Labuschagne),” Aussie captain Pat Cummins said playfully.

“I did hear the back end of that conversation the other day.”

The Australian three-pace attack (Hazlwood, Starc, and Cummins) has successfully survived the test summer, featuring in their seventh and last test of the season.

The Aussie pace battery has scalped 75 wickets and nearly bowled 500 overs inside three months. 

Cummins said the workload during the test season was been ‘pretty well’ managed.

“I said at the start of summer that I would be surprised if we (pace attack) played all seven tests because it’s rare that something doesn’t pop up,” he said.

“But thankfully, we have managed all the niggles that pop up pretty well.”

“Even the schedule this summer seems to be perfect when you need a week’s break; there was a week’s break in between test matches.”

“We still have a fair bit of freshness about it (playing).”

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Despite the 12mm grass covering on the Hagley wicket, Cummins remarked that it didn’t necessarily imply there will be swing over a big period of time.

Stats suggest teams bowling first at Christchurch have won eight games out of 13 with the pitch getting better as the test match progresses. 

“I think the trend is that it starts really green, and obviously gets a bit flatter. It’s not like a Gabba green wicket day one where it’s going to seam all over the place. I think they still play pretty truly here. So yeah, it can be a little bit misleading at times, I think. But yeah, it looks like a good wicket. It always seems to be pretty consistently good here,” Cummins said.

During the previous week in Wellington, New Zealand sent Australia in after winning the toss. However, this time, the strategies at the coin toss are less evident.

“The thing you’re always judging is ‘is first innings it’s going to be easier or harder to bat than the fourth innings,” he said. 

“That’s the essence of the toss.”

“A lot of time when you bowl first doesn’t mean you’re going to bowl them out for 100 but you think we will hopefully get 10 wickets today.” 

“And those 10 weeks is going to be easier than other times in the match. It’s not the traditional ‘oh it’s green we’re gonna rip through them.”

“But then you kind of can’t look too far ahead. So say day one last game was overhead. I thought it was a good bowling day, but you can’t look too far forward. It is hard.”

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