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Cummins quickly on track for Australia

Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins has described the sense of “relief” he felt at having an immediate impact with the ball on return from a five-month spell out of cricket.

The right-arm quick was a late arrival to join Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup squad in the UAE this month but hit the ground running with figures of 1-17 and 2-34 in tournament-opening wins over South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The handy performances came after Cummins had chosen to stay at home in Sydney with his pregnant partner instead of touring the West Indies and Bangladesh mid-year, training with NSW during the harbour city’s COVID-19 lockdown.

He had not previously played a competitive match of any kind since the IPL was postponed in April.

If Cummins’ form and fitness continue, it will not only augur well for Australia’s chances of lifting the T20 crown for the first time, but also ready the 28-year-old for a massive Ashes series on home soil this summer.

“A little bit of it is relief but this (World Cup) has been on my calendar for the last four or five months as my main goal,” Cummins said.

“I spent a lot of time working on T20 bowling and we had a similar scenario last year where we had a big break before we flew over to England for those T20s and one-dayers.

“This time around I felt like I knew what I had to do before I got over here.

“I’ve been really happy with how I’ve been bowling and it’s all come together so far.”

Heading into their heavyweight clash with England on Sunday morning (AEDT), Australia are riding high on confidence after a “complete” performance against Sri Lanka.

A third consecutive win would be a major step towards a semi-final berth.

Cummins insists he is focused on the task at hand but also has half an eye on the situation at home, spending plenty of time between matches on the phone to fiancee Becky Boston and newborn baby Albie.

“I’m missing being home and missing those first couple of weeks but hopefully as soon as we fly back to Australia we’ll be able to see them in (home) quarantine,” Cummins said.

“It’s been tough but FaceTime has been great … but it’s a World Cup so that makes it a little bit easier.

“Although I’d love to be there, I’m pretty lucky to be here at a World Cup.”

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