Young Australian pacer Pat Cummins said on Monday he was ready for the rigours of Test cricket as he prepares to join Australia’s Ashes battle in England as a replacement for Ryan Harris.
The 22-year-old will join Australia’s Ashes squad in Cardiff before the Test series starts on Wednesday, replacing Harris, who was forced into retirement at the weekend by persistent knee trouble.
Cummins has not played a Test since his man-of-the-match debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2011 at the age of 18, with his focus for most of the last 18 months almost entirely on limited-overs forms ahead of the World Cup earlier this year.
Cummins, whose young career has been dogged by injury, said he was prepared for the demands of the five-day game after recently training in Brisbane for the Australia A tour of India later this month.
“I feel ready to go now,” Cummins told reporters in Brisbane before flying out to England.
“It’s always been the plan to get myself ready in case I’m a reserve, if not get ready for the Aussie As, so I’ve been bowling lots of overs up here and everything’s been going fine.”
“It is a fair leap … but I have played quite a few (white-ball) games, so I do feel like the step-up isn’t as big as it might’ve been a year or so ago. I certainly feel ready for that step.”
With an Ashes debut unlikely at this stage given his standing in the pecking order behind Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle, Cummins said he was hoping to feature in Australia’s tour match against Derbyshire after the second Test at Lord’s which begins on July 16.
“I’d love to get an opportunity in that and get used to bowling two or three days in a row,” he said.
“My body feels really strong… I’ve been pretty lucky, I haven’t had to think about any niggles or anything for probably the last two years.”