Jason Gillespie backs Cummins to be Australia’s x-factor in Ranchi Test
Melbourne, Mar. 14: Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie feels that Steve Smith has nothing to lose by including Pat Cummins in the playing XI for the crucial third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India beginning March 16 in Ranchi.
Pat Cummins has been included in the squad in place of Mitchell Starc who was ruled out of the remaining Tests after suffering a stress fracture.
Pat Cummins, the left-arm pacer had picked up a stress fracture in his right foot during the second Test in Bengaluru, which Australia lost by 75 runs.
Pat Cummins, if included in the Ranchi Test, will play for the first time since his memorable debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2011. In that match, he took 7 wickets.
“I don’t see what Australia have got to lose by playing him,” Jason Gillespie was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“He’s that point of difference and it could be similar to the Josh Hazlewood-Mitchell Starc combination. They complement each other well and if Cummins does get the nod, he could be the x-factor much like Mitchell Starc is.”
“The selectors aren’t taking him over there for work experience. They’ve flown him over to play. I can’t see them taking him over just to carry the drinks,” Gillespie added.
The former pacer said that if Australia wants long spells, they might include Jackson Bird.
“If they need someone to bowl long spells on flat wickets, they’ve got Jackson Bird over there who could do that role,” Gillespie said.
However, Gillespie maintained that Cummins is at least 10 km/hr quicker than Bird and that’s the difference between the two.
“But I think on those pretty benign wickets, the point of difference for Pat compared to Jackson Bird is that he bowls consistently 10 kilometres-an-hour quicker. I think Jackson Bird would do a commendable job, but I think the selectors will go with Pat,” Jason Gillespie added.
“It’s the extra pace that I think could potentially unsettle the Indian batsman.”
The third Test in Ranchi begins on Thursday with the four-match series locked at 1-1.
India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.
Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade