Pat Cummins has reinforced his status as one of the country’s finest-ever fast bowlers, becoming the second-fastest to claim 200 Test wickets.
Playing in his 44th Test, Cummins chalked up the milestone after lunch on day three against West Indies in Perth on Friday, swinging one past Kraigg Brathwaite’s outside edge to take the off stump.
Cummins spent parts of this week defending his right to an opinion on things outside of cricket.
Everything from his desire to not appear in Alinta Energy ads to Australia’s decision to take a knee in support of ending racism have come under the spotlight.
Then there was the Justin Langer issue, with Cricket Australia coming out in support of their captain after the former coach bemoaned a lack of direct feedback.
But regardless of how much Cummins has divided opinions of late, no one can deny he is one of the world’s best bowlers.
Ranked No.1 in the world since the 2019 Ashes, Cummins’ grip on the top spot is the longest of any Australian since Clarrie Grimmett way back in the 1930s.
Cummins’ rapid rise to 200 Test wickets is bettered only by Dennis Lillee (38 Tests) among Australian quicks.
And his average of 21.67 is marginally second to only Glenn McGrath’s 21.64 for the best of any Australian bowler who has taken 200 Test wickets or more.
Cummins’ record is made all the more remarkable when considering what his numbers could be.
Injuries robbed him of 64 Tests when he should have been at his quickest, with Cummins forced to wait five-and-a-half years after his match-winning 6-79 on debut in South Africa for his next Test.
He has since returned a more consistent bowler, relying not so much on express pace but incredible consistency and ability to move the ball just enough.
Cummins’ milestone moment came after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley moved to defend the skipper’s right to push for societal change while in the role.
“He’s his own unique style of captain,” Hockley told SEN on Thursday.
“Through last summer and the away tours and with an amazing body of Test cricket coming up, I think he is growing into the role.
“I think that is evident both in his actions on the field and some of his comments leading into this series.
“Pat said it very well earlier in the week. They are more than just cricketers, they are people. And they are very interested in societal trends and issues.”
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