Cummins joins elite 250-wicket club in landmark year
CAPTAIN Pat Cummins declared himself delighted at the end of a landmark year for Australian cricket as his 10-wicket haul in the second test win over Pakistan in Melbourne secured his entry into an elite band of bowlers.
Cummins led his side on Friday (29) to a fourth consecutive home series win with a Man of the Match performance that saw him become only the 10th player to claim 250 wickets or more for Australia.
The 30-year-old joins an illustrious list, headed by Shane Warne, and featuring fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillie as well as current test players Nathan Lyon and Mitch Starc.
“It’s pretty special company being up there,” said Cummins, who now has 252 wickets in 57 test matches. “A real proud moment to see the names you’re up there alongside.
“Achievements in test cricket, the things that are most satisfying, is the longevity it takes to hit a few of those milestones, especially after missing a few years when I was a bit younger. It’s always a nice little reminder.”
Cummins’ career haul is particularly noteworthy for a player who started his test career aged 18, but spent more than five years out of the team due to a succession of injuries.
He returned in 2017 and was appointed captain in November 2021, with questions initially raised over how effective a fast bowler could be in the role.
Cummins has answered those questions emphatically, leading Australia to the World Test Championship, a 50-overs World Cup triumph and the retention of the Ashes in England during the last 12 months.
His 10-wicket haul in the second test was the second of his career as he took 5 for 49 in the second innings to finish the match with 10 for 97 and snuff out Pakistan’s hopes of levelling the three-match series.
“I’m really happy for a few reasons. Personally, the main reason is that’s the best I felt bowling for a little while,” Cummins said.
“My rhythm felt really good. I felt like I bowled with good pace, I knew where my wrist was and could control the seam, some good bouncers. I felt really happy with just how I was bowling if I didn’t take wickets.
“And then as a team, just a huge year, all formats, a lot of success, and stop off by winning a series at home which we pride ourselves on doing. It’s a pretty satisfying way to end 2023.”