Cummins to India: Expect barrage of short stuff

The likes of Gambhir and Raina aren't too comfortable with the short ball.

Calcutta: Pat Cummins fired the first salvo ahead of Australia’s opening Super Eights clash against India, saying his side would seek to exploit India’s weakness against the short-pitched delivery.

India and Australia both came away with 100 per cent records from Groups A and B respectively in the ICC World Twenty20 2012, and will lock horns at the R Premadasa Stadium on Friday.

“A few of them aren’t too fond of the short ball,” said Cummins, 19, after a training session at the P Sara Oval on Tuesday afternoon.

“We will try and ruffle a few feathers. You know, Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir and a few of those guys, they are never comfortable with the short ball and we are probably gonna dig in a couple of them. Hopefully, that will pay off,” he told the ICC website.

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It was Australia’s first practice session for a couple of days, the team having been given time off after victory over the West Indies on Saturday to re-energise itself.

“A few guys went down to Galle for some rest and a few others played golf,” revealed Cummins. “Today (Tuesday), the training session was a bit of fun. We had a good hit in the nets, everyone is fine, there are no injury concerns. We are looking forward to Friday."

Australia didn’t have the best bowling day in its final league encounter, when the West Indies amassed 191 for 8. Cummins himself faded after a bright start; after beginning with a maiden, he finished with 1 for 40 from his four overs. Australia’s overall bowling didn’t go down too well with Mickey Arthur, and Cummins said the coach had every reason to be dissatisfied.

“Yeah, we weren’t pretty pleased as well,” said Cummins on behalf of the bowling unit. “We had plans but probably we didn’t execute them all. We are trying to work on that and we are trying to make sure that we go in with a clean mind and clean plan and not get ruffled or too disturbed at all. We will try and come back strong."

“The two strips that have been used at the Premadasa have had reasonable pace and bounce, though there were signs on Monday night in the West Indies-Ireland game that some of the pace might be gradually disappearing. It’s been pretty quick and good so far,” said Cummins.

“It is about trying to hit the deck hard. Try and swing the ball in the first four overs and after that, keep trying hard. The pitches at times have been a little grippy and at others times, it is sliding a bit, so we got to try the yorkers and the short balls.”

Cummins said he didn’t know what to make of India’s commanding 90-run win over England the other night, fashioned by the spin of Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla.

“It was pretty funny,” said Cummins.

“The other night, they did not play with their full-strength side, so I guess you never know what is going to come your way. They are world-class players and everyone has got a lot of experience due to the IPL."

“They have all sorts of players. We will go a bit harder and hopefully everything pays off.”

He laughed when asked what plans Australia had in place to tackle the Indian spinners. “I am not a batsman,” said Cummins.

“But yes, we have batted well so far. If we can nullify the key spinners, that will go a long way in winning the tie."

“We have done that before. (David) Warner, (Shane) Watto (Watson) and (Mike) Hussey have been brilliant. It’s like playing any other bowler, it is about turning the strike over. One or two good overs, and anything is possible.”

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