Former Australia skipper Greg Chappell has expressed apprehension over Pat Cummins’ fitness after the injury-prone fast bowler was fast-tracked in the Australian side during the Ranchi Test.
The 23-year old, whose last and only Test appearance had come way back in 2011, had to toil really hard on the third and the fourth day of the Ranchi Test as the Indian batsmen played a mammoth 210 runs, scoring 603 for 9 before declaring their innings. Prior to the Test match, Cummins played in the Sheffield Shield for the first time in almost six years and many feel that he has been rushed back into a Test preparation. And although Cummins impressed during the Shield match, Chappell feels that the bowler was not ready for back to back Tests.
“That doesn’t get you ready for Test cricket,” he told Cricinfo.
The fast-bowler, who was previously targeting the Ashes series to make his much-anticipated return to Test cricket, bowled 39 overs in Ranchi and was Australia’s most successful bowler with 4 wickets.
“My fear is he’s worked so damn hard in this game and it may well be that Steve Smith was thinking, ‘All right I’ll keep pushing him and pushing him and pushing him in an attempt to win this test match. If we win this one then we’ll worry about the fourth one later on’,” Chappell added.
“The big question is do you risk Pat Cummins in that next Test Match?
“Steve Smith is definitely more comfortable using his quickies than his spinners.Sure, he used his spinners a helluva lot, but you can see why he wants that third allrounder being a pace bowler. I’m sure if he’d had Mitch Marsh or Marcus Stoinis on that side that they would have got a lot more overs,” he explained.
The former India coach also said that India could force a result on the final day of the Test. Australia finished the fourth day on 23 for 2, 129 runs in India’s first innings total and Chappell feels that left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who took both the Aussie wickets on the fourth day, could play a pivotal role on the final day of the match.
“I really don’t like their chances of surviving with only eight wickets in hand now,” he said of Australia’s batting order.
“The point was made during commentary about how many left-handers in the Australian side. I think Jadeja is going to be a nightmare for the left-handers. So I see India being 2-1 up after the fifth day,” he said.