Cummins has been remembered to the Australian side for the first time in over a year
He missed all of last season after yet another stress fracture in his lower back
Cummins made a fantasy Test debut against South Africa as a 18-year-old in 2011
Pat Cummins’ global career has had more than its fair share of false starts due to injuries but captain Steve Smith expects the forthcoming one-day series against New Zealand will establish a launchpad for the Australia fast bowler to kick on.
The ideal armer, who left a fantasy Test debut against South Africa as a raw 18-year-old in 2011 with match figures of 7-117, was invited into the Australian side for the very first time in over a year for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series.
The 23-year-old missed all of last season after yet another stress fracture in his lower back but returned with a vengeance in Australia’s domestic one-fifth contest last month, taking 15 wickets in 18.60.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said when the one-day squad was appointed last week that he was particularly happy to find him back bowling with actual speed.
Together with Australia choosing to not rest Test spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, Smith had three genuinely quick bowlers in his disposal to the series against New Zealand that begins in Sydney on Sunday.
“It seemed like he bowled with a few great pace so it’s nice to have the choice of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins in the disposal,” Smith told Australian Associated Press in Sydney on Wednesday. “It’s quite exciting.”
Cummins, man of the game in his Test debut, has been blighted by injury since, suffering heel issues, a ripped side muscle and tension fractures in his back.
Such have been the extent of his injuries, he has played just eight first-class games since he left his debut for New South Wales from Tasmania in Hobart as a 17-year-old. His last first-class match was on last season’s Ashes tour of England.
Smith, however, stated that if he could establish his fitness through limited overs cricket then he could be in the framework for Australia’s tour of India next February.
“Obviously he is going to play with these one-dayers. I dare say he’ll play with the one-dayers in the rear end of this summer also and I think after Christmas that he may be playing some Shield cricket,” Smith added.
“India’s possible. He’s clearly got to perform with some Shield cricket initially and watch how he moves … the way his body holds up.
“So far he is going pretty well.”