Cummins comfortable shouldering the load, says Saker
CRICKET: Australia's bowling coach David Saker has dismissed concerns about the workload that injury-prone fast bowler Pat Cummins has shouldered in Ranchi.
Playing only his second Test and first in more than five years, Cummins has exceeded expectations in the third Test between Australia and India.
The 23-year-old, who suffered no shortage of serious setbacks in the five-and-a-half years that followed his stunning 2011 debut, consistently troubled the hosts on days two and three to have four wickets.
The right-armer will fancy his chances of adding more to his tally when India resumes today at 6-360 and Saker is adamant that he will get to, rejecting any talk of lightening his workload.
Cummins has been wrapped in cotton wool in recent years with Cricket Australia carefully monitoring the young gun's workloads and often restricting him to limited overs matches.
Cummins, called into the squad and XI following Mitchell Starc's series-ending foot injury, has already delivered 25 overs including a pair of six-over spells.
"We didn't have any restrictions on him throughout this Test. It's a really important Test match for us," Saker said.
"If he ends up bowling more overs than first expected then so be it.
"It's tough cricket over here and because he's bowling so well the captain will want to keep going to him."
Saker said Cummins' recovery overnight would be no different to fellow quick Josh Hazlewood.
"It's pretty much the same, the recovery. The strength and conditioning (staff), the medial staff look after that. He'll be no different to any other," he said.
James Pattinson opted to sit out the tour of India, wanting to ensure he didn't attempt a Test comeback too soon.
But the Victorian has demonstrated form and fitness at Shield level, grabbed a haul of 5-7 to ensure his side hosts the final.
It means the prospect of Starc, Cummins, Pattinson and Hazlewood being available for the first Test of the 2017-18 Ashes is very much on the cards.
The four talented young pacemen have excited selectors for so long, but also frustrated them with a series of setbacks.
"It will be a bit of a headache for the selectors when it does happen," Saker said.
"You need a good crop of fast bowlers and we've got that at the moment."