Australian captain Pat Cummins has declared his intention to play ever game at the World Cup despite conceding he finds the 50-over game the most “physically taxing” of the three formats, with eight more games to come at the tournament before the finals.
Cummins had a limited preparation for the World Cup after fracturing his wrist during the final Ashes Test, playing just four games before the opening loss to India in Chennai in which he went wicketless.
Questions are being asked about whether Cummins is an automatic selection in the team ahead of Josh Hazlewood, the No.2 ranked bowler in the world, and pace weapon Mitchell Starc, with spin likely to be crucial in coming games.
But Cummins said there was “no plans” for him or any of the fast bowlers to skip a game, with the Australians adamant that pace is their strongest bowling weapon.
“The intention is to try and play every game,” Cummins said ahead of Thursday’s clash with South Africa.
“We won‘t be rotating bowlers really unless we have to – someone’s really fatigued or someone’s managing a niggle that needs a bit of a rest. The intention is to try and have everyone on the selection table for each game. You pick your best 11.
“It’s a World Cup. You can’t really take any game lightly. Probably later on in the tournament we’ll look at that if we need to, but at the moment, there’s no plans.”
Glenn Maxwell likened the workload for players in an ODI to a football game and Cummins said it was a “challenge” to play multiple games, particularly in the heat and humidity of India.
“The biggest challenge is you’ve got 10 overs, it’s actually quite a physical format. I find it probably the most physically taxing if you’re playing two or three games in a week,” he said.
“We’re doing 15km in a 50-over match. I think in T20, if you bowl one really good over, that can be matchwinning. I think in one-day cricket, that’s not normally the case.
“And it’s rare that the conditions are really in the bowler’s favour, which is fine. It’s just a challenge you’ve got to try and deal with.
“It’s tough, but I do enjoy it.”
Cummins said he was more than happy with his bowling output in his recent ODI outings given his injury-hit preparation and transition from Tests to white-ball cricket.
“I feel like it’s in as good a place as it ever has been,” he said.
“I think early in my career, I found it a hard balance between Test cricket and T20, like getting too funky. I always find with one-day cricket, your roles can be very different.
“Being an opening bowler with a ball that swings is very different to coming on first change, maybe bowling cross seamers where you’re trying to almost defend and get your wickets through pressure.
“It’s a different kind of challenge to the other formats, but I feel in a really good place and I enjoy the challenge of having to almost be prepared for anything in terms of death bowling or just basics or trying to create a wicket out of nothing.”