All the talk about if Pat Cummins would be able to take the burden of captaining the Australian team for the first time, that too in an Ashes series, proved unfounded for the No.1 fast bowler in the world from the first ball Mitchell Starc bowled to knock over Rory Burns’ stumps at the Gabba Cricket ground in Brisbane.
Apart from the toss, everything went the Cummins way and he must be thanking his stars that he lost the toss as he too wanted to bat first on a wicket which had grass and offered a lot of movement to all the fast bowlers. All the Aussie bowlers bowled the right line and length to skittle out an under- prepared England team for a below par score of just 147.
Cummins was appointed as the captain of Australia team just two weeks ago when Tim Paine decided to step down was captain. He was the first Australian fast bowler to be appointed as captain of the team in whites and he had a dream start on the first day. His got a fifer in his first innings as captain and his analysis read 13.1-3-38-5 which had the important wickets of Haseeb Hamid who was set, allrounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Most importantly, his counterpart Joe Root got out for a duck - which must be the best thing that happened to Cummins as an Australian captain.
Cummins was the right choice, according to the legendary Ian Chappell as he believed he is the most inspirational cricketer in Australia and had said that in spite of all the controversies surrounding before the start of the series, it’s still the Ashes. And the captain which gets the edge on the first day will run away with the Ashes - Australia and Cummins have certainly made the right start and Root’s England will have to do all the catching up now.
Cummins walked off the field with the ball in his hand after leading the team with his five-wicket haul and must be feeling his dream has come true. He will now be hoping that his batsmen now put the score to bat England out of this Test and stamp their authority in the series.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice-Chairman of Danube Group