Pat Cummins has reproduced his career-best Test form in the BBL, snaring two prized scalps and man-of-the-match honours in Sydney Thunder’s season finale.
Pat Cummins couldn’t be happier with his form after seamlessly switching into white-ball mode, knocking over the BBL’s two best batsmen ahead of Australia’s limited-overs tour of India.
Cummins, who started the week celebrating man-of-the-series honours following Australia’s emphatic Test win over Sri Lanka, returned to Manuka Oval on Saturday night and donned his Sydney Thunder cap.
The express paceman earned man-of-the-match honours in the Thunder’s four-wicket win over the ladder-leading Hobart Hurricanes, hitting the winning run after dismissing D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade.
It wasn’t enough to keep the Thunder’s BBL season alive.
But it was an impressive performance from somebody who hasn’t played a white-ball match in three months – and hasn’t played a Twenty20 since the 2017 Indian Premier League season.
Cummins, who will spearhead Australia’s attack during the upcoming tour of India that features two T20s and five ODIs, finished with figures of 2-28.
“I was a little bit apprehensive coming here,” Cummins said in Canberra.
“I’d had a few days’ rest. Didn’t really have a good bowl.
“But once we got out there I just felt really relaxed … I feel like my rhythm is really good, I can bowl where I want to and my pace is up.
“I couldn’t be happier at the moment, my body feels really good and hopefully it all just kind of stays how it’s going.”
Mitchell Starc’s pectoral injury and Josh Hazlewood’s back problem means that Australia will rely on Cummins even more than usual during the series against Virat Kohli’s team, which is slated to start on February 24.
Cummins has consistently produced his best in good times and bad during recent months, enhancing a reputation as one of the first picked in Australia’s XI in all three formats.
“It’s all a bit of a blur really. I couldn’t have hoped for much better,” he said of the summer.
“I felt like I’d bowled as well as I could (during the first Test against Sri Lanka).”
The prospect of Brisbane progressing to the finals ahead of the fifth-placed Thunder, who unsuccessfully lobbied Cricket Australia in pursuit of the full points after the Gabba lights went out during their clash with the Heat, can’t sit that well with the club.
“I haven’t heard anybody mention that yet … there’s always those kind of things,” Cummins said.
“A team like Hobart, they’ve been the dominant team all season. They don’t have to worry about those little things.”