Overt abuse of opposition players might be a thing of the past but Pat Cummins is not going to compromise his aggressive approach to fast bowling.
As the Australian players vowed to uphold a pact to play with greater respect for the game and its participants, the returning speedster confirmed that he and his pace colleagues would continue to target batsmen as part of their normal approach.
“I feel like we don’t need to stop doing anything different -really,” Cummins said.
“I want to be aggressive when I bowl and use my body language to show I’m confident.
“I don’t feel like too much of that needs to change.
“The bullying or the over-the-top verbals directed at someone is going to go but most of the other stuff will stick around.”
Cummins bowled six overs in his first international match since the disastrous South Africa series seven months ago when he was part of the losing team at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The 25-year-old did not claim a wicket but bowled with considerable fire as South Africa -cantered to the small target to maintain Australia’s malaise in one-day ranks. The defeat was Australia’s record seventh loss in a row and meant the World Cup champions have won just two of their past 21 matches.
Cummins admitted that Australia would have to improve their discipline if their current slump — now the longest in their one-day history — was to end soon and they had any chance of defending the World Cup.
“We thought this was a day for a fresh start, new summer. , back at home, got a great record at home, had a couple of really good days training at the WACA, centre wicket practice almost felt like a couple of games and It felt like we were in a really good place but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” he said.
“We have to find our best 11 or 12 players and try to stick to as much consistency as possible.”
“The easiest way to do that is by everyone performing well.”
Cummins and Josh Hazlewood returned after back problems, Mitch Starc shrugged off hamstring concerns and Nathan Coulter-Nile was back after his own stress fractures.
It meant that Australia fielded their strongest pace attack since the World Cup final in 2014-15 when Starc, Hazlewood, Mitch Johnson and James Faulkner were an unstoppable combination.
The second game of the three-match series is in Adelaide on Friday.
Australia’s dismal batting gave the bowlers little to defend but Cummins predicted the attack would get better given the strong competition for places.
“Everyone is so desperate for a win and everyone is trying desperately to find their place in the team,” he said.
“We’ve got a wealth of fast bowling talent at the moment and fortunately everyone is fit and firing.
“We’ve got still about 15 games before the next World Cup so by no means is the 11 or even the 15 settled.
“We’ve got to all be performing to get on there.”