Defending the Bouncer Barrage: Aussies Spot Potential Weakness Despite Tail Wagging, Massive Cummins Claim

Speaking on Fox Cricket, Michael Vaughan believes that by the end of his career, Pat Cummins will be Australia’s greatest player to don the baggy green since Sir Donald Bradman. Cummins enjoyed an amazing 2023, becoming the first captain in a calendar year to win two ICC trophies – the World Test Championship as well as the World Cup. On top of that, he retained the Ashes in England and won the Benaud-Qadir Trophy in this series against Pakistan. He’s also carved out a slice of history during this tour, becoming the first Australian since Merv Hughes in the 1988/89 summer of cricket to take three consecutive five-wicket hauls at home. When asked about the question of how Pat Cummins stacks up to the legendary Dennis Lillee, Vaughan’s answer surprised his co-commentators. “I saw a bit of DK [Lillee] on screen but I think … Pat Cummins, in time. [I] don’t think he’s ever going to surpass Sir Don, [but] I think Cummins is going to end up being Australia’s greatest cricketer after Sir Don. “I honestly think he’s that good – captain, bowler, his record, his numbers, five to seven years left playing. You would think… I honestly think he’s that good that we will be talking about him in a few years time as being just behind Sir Don Bradman as the greatest Australian cricketer.” Australian all-rounder Mitch Marsh believes the third Test against Pakistan is delicately poised heading into day two at the SCG. Things could hardly have started worse for the tourists who won the toss but lost 2-4 after both openers went for second-ball ducks. Captain Pat Cummins (5-61) threatened to explode with the ball once again, dismissing Babar Azam (26) and then Mohammad Rizwan, who posted Pakistan’s largest individual score of the series to date (88). Marsh defended the tactics of using the short ball, saying the squad looked to capitalize on previous weaknesses shown earlier in the series. “You’ve always got to back in what you’re doing, certainly when you’re bowling to a tail-ender,” Marsh said. “He could easily hit one of those straight up and we weren’t necessarily waiting for that to happen but I honestly think he batted unbelievably well. “We saw a potential weakness to the short ball last game, the ball got old, slower wicket and he played exceptionally well. It was hard work.” Aamir was caught after a well-made 82 from 97 deliveries that powered Pakistan to 313 – their best total of the series to date. “Hopefully it’s a long grind, if we can bat well tomorrow (on Thursday), really apply some pressure to the Pakistan team over the next couple of days, but yeah I guess day one, it’s 50/50,” Marsh said.