Cummins into swing of red-ball cricket

It’s been almost four years since Pat Cummins played his one and only Test.

Cummins has managed only two first-class games in that timeframe, both coming two years ago.

Throw in a litany of serious injuries and it’d be easy to understand a degree of apprehension from the Ashes aspirant.

But Cummins, who was restricted to ODI and Twenty20 cricket last summer to prepare him for the World Cup, is just excited to be rocking the red ball again.

“I love, I guess, the contest of backing up three, four, five days in a row,” Cummins said.

“Swinging the ball and building up spells – the little contests I find probably the most enjoyable.

“In the last month or so, I’ve been bowling with the red ball, trying to rediscover swing and all those things that come with a first-class match.

“I’ve been really happy with where I am.”

Cummins linked up with Australia’s 17-man squad before the first Test, having been summoned following Ryan Harris’ retirement.

The right-armer is unlikely to play until the visitors’ tour game against Derbyshire, which starts on July 23.

“They’ve certainly flagged that tour game for me,” he confirmed.

However, Cummins was confident his body would stand up to the rigours of a Test if he played this week at Lord’s.

“In terms of my body, I feel 100 per cent,” he said.

“It really feels good. The last four or five weeks up in Brisbane, I have been bowling quite a bit – three or four times a week and I haven’t had any issues.”

Cummins still has fond memories of his first Test, having been named man of the match in a thrilling two-wicket win over South Africa.

Should he be given the chance to shine against England, Cummins will draw confidence from the parallels.

“Back then, I hadn’t played a first-class game for about six months,” he said.

“Certainly the few days leading in, I was really nervous. I didn’t know whether I was going to swing the ball and things like that.

“But when I played, I kind of surprised myself.”

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