Kolkata: The late charge of Pat Cummins on Wednesday, when he brought Kolkata Knight Riders ever so close to an unrealistic target of 221 against Chennai Super Kings, betrayed the never-give-up philosophy so common of Australian cricketers. The leader of the Knights’ pace bowling unit feels that while his unbeaten 66 off 34 balls may not have been enough to win the day, but the chase has given the team the courage to believe in themselves.
‘‘It’s (the mood) really positive around here. Everyone’s pumped. Feel like we have got a gun side. So, I am sure we get a win or two and we will be on our way and flying. But I think there’s a feeling that we can win from basically anywhere,’’ said Cummins, one of the premier fast bowlers with an infectious smile.
Speaking to the franchise’s website, the 27-year-old vice-captain of Australian team across all formats said he was still in awe of his teammate Andre Russell’s effort on Wednesday night after the Knights were reduced to 31 for five at one stage.
‘‘First thing I want to say is I am glad Andre (Russell) is in our team and I don’t have to bowl to him. I think he is one of those guys, whatever situation he is out there in, you will feel like: we can win here out of nowhere. You could feel the whole mood changing with the Chennai bowlers when he was out there. I think there is a belief that we can win a game from anywhere,’’ he said.
If the Caribbean hulk’s form (54 off just 22 balls) on the more sporting Mumbai wicket was a relief for the beleaguered Knights after his lean spell with the bat early on, Cummins’ efforts with the bat was a huge positive for Eoin Morgan’s men who take on Rajasthan Royals next on Saturday.
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How seriously does he take his batting? ‘‘I do yeah, for sure. Especially when you are batting at No. 7 or 8, and then you got a small window to make an impact, so you work on being able to hit from ball one. I spent a lot of time being a boring Test batter. I can’t score many runs. So, I quite enjoy coming out here and swinging the bat. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t,’’ said a candid Cummins.
Asked if he actually believed a chase was on or was he going all out to improve the run-rate, Cummins said: ‘‘I wasn’t thinking about run-rate. I was thinking how to win. I think when the game is completely gone, that’s when you start thinking about Net Run Rate. But I never felt like the game was completely gone. So, first mindset was always - how can we win from here?’’
Such positive attitude is simply worth it’s weight in gold.