Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Pat Cummins is excited as he does not have to bowl to head coach Brendon McCullum (Baz ) at Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, saying he has always admired the fearless approach of the former New Zealand captain “I am really excited about is that I don’t have to bowl to him anymore! He was one of the best and most feared hitters I have come up against in my career. It can be the first
ball of the match and he might be hitting over your head for a six! So, I am happy that he is in my team as a coach and that I don’t have to bowl to him,” Star Australian pacer Cummins said in an interview on kkr.in
“He is someone I really admire for his fire. Whether it was his stint as the captain of theNew Zealand team or his approach in the IPL clashes, I just love the way he goes about it.
He really wants to put on the show and take the game on,” said Cummins.When asked Bowling coach Kyle Mills has also said that you are currently the best bowler in the world, Cummins said, “I feel the same about him as I do about Baz; again, an ex-player, an absolute master of his craft! He has got an incredible record for New Zealand. You don’t get too many opportunities to work with totally different coaches. Now in Australia, we have
got the same.”
“We have coaches for different formats and then state teams. So, you might have two or three different coaches. But the opportunity to go and work with Kyle, who has played around the world, will definitely bring to me different things that I never thought about bowling before. So, yeah I am really excited to work with him,” he said.
Talking about his role in guiding the 20-year-old pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who missed last two IPL seasons due to injury, Cummins said the players need to trust themselves and the process that they will make a strong comeback.
“The big one that all the coaches and ex-players would advise you is a simple thing – you need to be patient. It is really an easy thing to say and think of but an 18-year-old missing games is actually a very hard thing to live with. You just need to have the trust that you might miss a season or two at the start of your career but you might end up playing till the age of 36 or 37, as opposed to 31 or 32,” Cummins said
“Everything that you do during this time, sets up the foundation block for a long and healthy career. Even when I was not playing, I used to hang out with my teammates. 90% of the time I love cricket is because I can hang out with my mates,” he said.
The Australian pacer said, “I first played the Test in South Africa. All my cricket for Australia that season was overseas. But when we came back to the start of the Aussie summers, everyone was looking forward to the first Test match. Unfortunately, I was injured but I was there with the Aussie cricket team.”
“I always kept thinking this was crazy! This was the Aussie team I have grown up watching all my life. Even my dad and grandparents watched. When I was on the field and the boys were about to go and play the first Test, it really hit home. It was a weird feeling, more of a “how did I end up here” kind,” he said.
“Since I was six years old, summers for me would mean cricket. I will spend weekends and every day after school playing cricket. And then suddenly, I was a professional cricketer but I wasn’t playing any cricket during summer. It was all weird. There were these great games at SCG I would feel like playing but I was injured. It was so close but because I was injured I couldn’t even go and play backyard cricket,” Cummins said.
“In terms of the schedule, just at the start of the Aussie summer, I would get injured and by the end of the summer, I would just be starting to get right. That’s how I would go and play overseas and again at the start of next summer I would get injured. So, it was tough because I felt I was wasting so many years. But yeah, I again got back to my 100 %. So, it was not like I felt I would never be able to bowl at the top level again. It was more of frustration for all the cricket that I was missing out on,” he said.
Cummins said, “As kids, we were so lucky to have players like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden, Justine Langer – 11 superstars playing in every Test. I loved the way Brett Lee went about it. He was the younger one in the team but he always wanted to bowl fast. He had his big celebrations and blonde hair, jumping around! I loved him and I often used to try and mimic him in the backyard. I think this is my 9th or 10th year of playing professional cricket. He bowled over 150kmph forclose to 20 years! Which is just mind-blowing. I loved him for being an absolutely amazing Australian player and also an ex-KKR player.
When asked about his role in the team Cummins said, “We have to talk about that when we get out there and make the side. The thing I love about T20 cricket is it’s ultra-attacking, or at the death, it’s ultra-defensive. There is no middle ground. So, in T20 cricket, if you are an all-out bowler, you get to bowl any time of the match. That’s why I love the format,” The Dinesh Karthik-led side is scheduled to take on defending champions Mumbai Indians on September 23, as they kick-start their IPL 2020 campaign.