Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins has dismissed concerns over his lack of match practice leading into the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes, declaring himself “ready to go” for the highly-anticipated period.
Cummins sat out of competitive cricket for more than five months, having chosen to stay at home in Sydney with his pregnant partner instead of touring the West Indies and Bangladesh.
He was a late arrival to join Australia’s T20 squad in the UAE this month after the birth of the couple’s first child and returned to action with 0-33 from four overs in Wednesday’s practice match defeat to India.
It was the right-arm quick’s first match of any kind since the IPL was postponed in April.
Cummins was allowed to train with NSW during Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown and felt the break from competitive action did him the world of good.
It allowed the 28-year-old to get his body right – settling his troublesome hamstrings and other niggles – and primed him for a strong return to the international scene.
“It was good to have a really good, solid five months of work,” Cummins said ahead of Australia’s T20 World Cup opener against South Africa on Saturday night (AEDT).
“I feel really refreshed. (I was) absolutely chomping at the bit to get over here and (play) the Ashes after this as well.”
A series of centre-wicket practice sessions with NSW helped Cummins get up to speed.
“I was going flat out for the last month, knowing that we might not get a heap of game time before the World Cup starts,” Cummins said.
“I feel really good, in a great place.
“It was great to go and play the practice game (on Wednesday) and I felt I got a lot out of that, so I’m ready to go.”
India will start favourites for the World Cup, with Australia rated outsiders to win the men’s T20 showpiece for the first time.
“Our results haven’t been where we would like them to be over the last little bit, but we haven’t really spoken about what anyone else has been saying about us,” Cummins said.
“We’ve got some of the best players in the world, everyone’s fit and ready to go, the vibe’s outstanding … we’ve played a lot of cricket together.
“Within the camp there’s a real confidence and we’re excited to get started.”