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“Best Thing Is I’m Not Captain”: Pat Cummins After T20 World Cup Hattrick

Australia Test and ODI skipper Pat Cummins is enjoying his game to the fullest after being released from the burden of captaincy in the shortest format and said all their “bases are covered” in the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup. Cummins claimed the first hattrick of the T20 showpiece en route to his 3/29 spell, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa returned with tidy figures of 2/24 to restrict Bangladesh to a below-par 140/8 in their opening match of the Super 8 stage here.

In reply, veteran opener David Warner led the chase with his second fifty of the tournament as Australia won by 28 runs via DLS method to remain unbeaten in the tournament with five wins on the trot.

“Really, we’ve kind of ticked off everything we could’ve possibly done so far. Overall it was a fairly polished performance, which is kind of what you want in Super Eights,” Cummins, who was replaced by Mitchell Marsh as T20 skipper, said at the post-match media interaction.

“We feel like we’ve got all bases covered. So yeah, we’ll rock up there. The best thing of all this is I’m not captain or selector or anything, so I just turn up and have no worries,” added the WTC and ODI World Cup-winning Australia skipper.

“Obviously, two points, but also to get a good run rate. And it feels like over the course of the tournament so far, just about everyone’s had a game.” Australia now lead the Group 1 Super 8s table on account of a better net run-rate over India, who registered a facile win over Afghanistan.

He also noted the team’s readiness to adjust and utilise different players, expressing confidence in their versatility. “We’ve been pretty open with that, that anyone in the squad’s ready to play and the bowling line-up might change at different times, the batting line-up, the batting order might change and things like that. It’s got to be adaptable.

“Obviously, Ash (Ashton Agar) played last game, he bowled really well. So, we feel like we’ve got all bases covered,” he said.

“We’ve used 12 or 13 players so far and everyone’s had a couple of performances where they should take confidence out of so — yeah feel well positioned obviously doesn’t mean that much but feels like we’re in as good a place we could be.” Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc became the highest wicket-taker (95) at ODI and T20 World Cups combined when he took the wicket of Bangladesh opener Tanzid Hasan in the first over.

Hailing Starc’s longevity, Cummins said: “It’s not easy to play for a dozen years or so like he has, which he’s been fit for all those tournaments. He’s just a class bowler who takes lots of wickets and has played for a while.

“So that’s impressive and then obviously just being a strike weapon, he can tear teams apart in white ball tournaments he’s got a lot of — kind of stood up when we needed to in big moments,” he said.

Warner’s ‘last hurrah’

All set to retire from international cricket after the T20 World Cup, Warner is having a blast with the bat and Cummins said the left-hander always has an insatiable appetite for runs in big tournaments.

“It feels like every ICC event he’s always up there in the runs tally. I love the way he’s been taking the game on, some big sixes even over the deep fielders.

“So, he’s always got a huge appetite for runs, particularly in these tournaments. And whether it’s knowing it’s his last hurrah or whatever, he looks in great form and continues to play with that freedom, which is great,” Cummins said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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