Cummins wants batters to find “better methods” to counter spin


Cummins wants batters to find “better methods” to counter spin

by Staff • Last updated on Sat, Feb 11, 2023

A comprehensive loss to India by an innings and 132 runs, inside three days, in Nagpur was also Australia’s second defeat in 16 matches in the current cycle of the World Test Championship. A lot of it had to do with the quality of the Indian spinners, said Australia captain Pat Cummins, who added that the Australian batters will have to find better methods to counter the likes of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the remaining three Test matches.

Jadeja’s 11th Test five-wicket haul, which came in the first innings, helped India bowl Australia out for 177 after the visitors had opted to bat. Rohit Sharma’s ton led India’s reply, and along with useful knocks from Axar Patel and Jadeja, the hosts posted an imposing 400 to gain a sizeable lead. Steven Smith’s unbeaten 25 was the only knock of defiance in the second innings as India needed just 32.3 overs to knock Australia out for 91, with Ashwin picking up his 25th fifer to equal Anil Kumble.

“A lot of it was good bowling, two masters of their craft, fresh legs, they bowled really well. In saying that I don’t think much is going to change in the next couple of games. That’s what we’re going to come against, so we have to find better methods. You saw Smithy and Alex Carey at times put the pressure back on the bowlers. I think it takes a bit of bravery, it’s easier said than done,” Cummins said at the post-match press conference on Saturday (February 11).

“If you’re just facing ball after ball and the bowler’s pretty good, you’re going to get one with your name on it,” said Cummins. “Again, that will be the conversation this week. If we get the same conditions, same bowlers, what are we going to do differently? I think at times probably being more proactive.”

The 91 all-out in the second innings was Australia’s lowest second innings total in India and it was also India’s third biggest innings win against Australia. Marnus Labuschagne’s 49 being the highest score for Australia across two innings highlighted their batting woes but Cummins said this loss was a lot easier to put behind compared to closer defeats.

“I think sometimes it’s almost easier to put behind those kinds of losses. You are looking at small margins, you have to have a hard look at your game and the big strides you need to change to give yourself the best chance next week. We’ve had a really good run the last 12 months. There haven’t been many losses in that change room. I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel, it’s just tweaking different approaches to how we play and maybe particular methods.”

Australia were without Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green, with all three at various stages of recovery from their respective injuries. Cummins ruled out Hazlewood’s participation in the second Test in Delhi, which starts on February 17, while he is hopeful of Green’s return to the eleven.

“Starcy lands today or tomorrow into Delhi. I think Joshy might not be quite ready for Delhi. He’s getting up and running now, he’s pretty close, but I don’t think he’ll be quite ready for Delhi. Greeny’s a bit of a wait and see. Still hoping (he could return), he’s had a couple of good hits out here. He’s bowling pretty good, the next couple of days we’ll assess it.”

Regarding the exclusion of the in-form Travis Head in favour of the right-handed Peter Handscomb, Cummins added: “We were confident it was our best XI this week. We know the quality Trav is. He’s a huge part of this team but we were confident in the 11 guys out there. He’s been really good around the group. He’s been working really hard on his game like he always does.

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