Chennai: The workload of Australia’s bowling spearhead, Pat Cummins, is on top of the team’s list of concerns, but stand-in coach David Saker on Wednesday said that the plan is to see the pacer compete in all five ODIs and three T20s against India. The first ODI is scheduled for Sunday here.
“At this stage we are planning for him to play all the games,” Saker, Australia’s fast bowling coach who is standing in as head coach for Darren Lehmann on this tour, was quoted as saying on cricket.com.au.
The visitors are here with an inexperienced fast-bowling attack with big names such as Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson all at home nursing minor injuries.
With an eye on the upcoming Ashes, Aussies are worried about Cummins who has been shouldering a lot of burden. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson are other frontline pacers with James Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis being all-rounders.
“We’ll look at (resting him), it’s obviously been brought up between all of us. We know that his workloads are up there, but we know it’s an important series. It’s Australia v India, you don’t get any bigger than that. He’s really determined to play well over here. It’ll be game-by-game basis, we’ll play it by ear,” said Saker.
The coach, however, is confident that all his pacers would be ready when England visit Australia later this year. “We are hoping that they will be ready before the first Shield game or second Shield game and that will give them good preparation. We have probably got a bit of a blessing that we’ve got three Shield games before the first Test of the Ashes and it’s probably as good a build-up as you would want for Ashes. So in that sense as long as they’re ready to go by the first Test in Brisbane and ready to play and perform, I will be really happy.
“This time last year we were in South Africa and it was the same thing, Hazlewood and Starc were rested for that tour. And they got through a really heavy workload in the summer, got through all the Tests. It’s not such a bad thing that they’re not here, as long as they’re ready to go for that first Test in Brisbane,” he added.