Pat Cummins
Australia Test captain Pat Cummins. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Legendary Australian cricketer Allan Border has lauded Pat Cummins’s performance as skipper, but warned that the next month’s Test series against India will be the “acid test” for him and the Baggy Greens.

Cummins took up Test captaincy following Tim Paine’s sudden resignation ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes series. The pace spearhead had enjoyed a golden run since becoming captain as Australia won the Ashes 4-0 and has since registered series victories over Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. Cummins’s side also drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka away from home last year.

Last frontier

“That is going to be the acid test for him and the team. The next 12 months is the real test for that side and Pat’s captaincy in particular because India is just about the last frontier for the Australian cricket team,” Border was quoted as saying by ABC Sport.

“We haven’t won there very often. It’s a hard place to play and a hard place to win and England is the same.”

The 67-year-old said, initially he was anxious about Cummins taking up the Test leadership but the speedster has ensured that it didn’t affect his bowling.

“I was not as keen to see a fast bowler (appointed captain), not necessarily the individual but more just the fact that he’s our number-one fast bowler. But he’s proved so many people wrong that and he’s handled that so well,” Border said.

Senior players

“Maybe the make-up of the team has helped, where he’s got quite a few senior players that he can bounce things off and they can sort of take over to a certain degree when he’s got the ball in his hand when he’s bowling.

“I take my hat off to him. He’s done fantastically well. They look like a happy side. They’re playing very good cricket and that’s all you can do as captain,” he added.

Australia will be aiming to record their first series win since 2019 in India when the first Test of the four-match series kicks-off on February 9 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.