In the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, discussed the pivotal delivery that dismissed former Pakistan captain Babar Azam. Cummins’ strategy involved bowling a back-of-a-length ball just outside off-stump that swung inwards, breaching Azam’s defenses and rattling the stumps. Describing it as a “dream ball,” Cummins emphasized the rarity of successfully executing such deliveries.
He clarified that the in-swinging aspect wasn’t deliberate, attributing it to a 50-50 chance of the ball either seaming in or out. Cummins highlighted his intention to create an angle, keeping the batsman uncertain about the ball’s movement. He acknowledged the difficulty in predicting seam movement, emphasizing that if he, as the bowler, is uncertain, it adds an element of unpredictability for the batsman.
Cummins also shared insights into his overall bowling approach, indicating a preference for generating seam movement off the wicket rather than relying on swing. He explained that swing is more predictable, giving the batsman an earlier visual cue and narrower margins to exploit. While he occasionally incorporates swing, his primary focus revolves around extracting seam movement, leveraging the conditions of the pitch.
Babar Azam’s struggles on the Australian tour were noted, with modest scores in the preceding Perth Test and the ongoing second Test. Pat Cummins played a pivotal role in Australia’s bowling attack, finishing the day with figures of 3-37 as Pakistan reached 194-6. The hosts, having been bowled out for 318 earlier in the day, were leading by 124 runs.
As the third day approached, Pakistan would resume their innings with Mohammad Rizwan and Aamir Jamal at the crease, facing an Australian team eager to build on their lead and maintain control of the match.