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Pumped up Cummins gears up for Ashes challenge
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Pumped up Cummins gears up for Ashes challenge

Agency News

Sydney, Jul 20 : Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins reminisced his 2015 tour to England, wherein he didn't play a single Test, and is now eager to make an impact in the upcoming Ashes series, beginning August 1 in Birmingham.

Cummins was a late entry into Australia's Ashes squad in 2015. He came in as  a replacement for Ryan Harris, whose knee injury had forced his retirement. Four years later, the Sydney born cricketer finds himself as Australia's strike bowler and can't wait to stamp his authority in the upcoming English summer."I feel like it was hardly me," Cummins said of his 2015 self.

"I think I had only played a couple of first-class games, I might have played my first first-class game in about three or four years on that tour. Totally different action, was still struggling with my body trying to bowl back-to-back days, trying to bowl 20 overs in a day.

"It was more than just absolute excitement at being on that tour. I just remember running the drinks in an Ashes series, I remember thinking 'it doesn't get much better than this'. So I just hope that this time playing, it's a bit different," he said. The top-ranked bowler in MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings had finished as Australia's leading wicket-taker in their 4-0 triumph over their arch-rivals at home in 2017-18 with 23 scalps from five games. His form in white-ball cricket has  continued ever since, as the tall pacer took a total of 50 scalps in his next three series, including a 10-wicket haul against Sri Lanka, which was Australia's last home series. Cummins is now looking forward to create a similar impact with the Dukes ball, which promises more assistance than the Kookaburra used Down Under.

"I'm pumped to have a Dukes ball that hopefully swings around a bit more for me and hopefully a batsman leaves a ball every now and then," said Cummins."Probably the way it pans out in 80 overs is slightly different to a Kookaburra, but the way you actually bowl, the basics are still there. I'm sure I'll pick up a couple of things in the next few weeks though."

With David Warner and Steve Smith returning to play Test Cricket for the first time since the ball tampering scandal in March 2018, Australia's Test squad appears much the same as their 2017-18 contingent. The 26-year-old reflected on both teams' line-ups, adding that quality cricket awaits in coming weeks, an ICC report on Saturday said.

"When you look at our Test side from the home series last year, we've basically got the same squad," he said. "We haven't lost anyone from memory, and they're much the same. They've got a couple of guys coming in, their batting order going to look slightly different, but probably similar to both sides is that our white-ball teams are quite different to our red-ball team. No matter who's playing, it's always fiery, it's intense, it's really good cricket. So I can't wait."(UNI)