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Any cricketer who isn’t inspired by Pat Cummins is in the wrong game: Ian Chappell

Cummins, in six months’ time, has retained the Ashes, won the World Test Championship and claimed the biggest prize of them all — the ODI World Cup

Our Bureau Sydney Published 04.12.23, 09:04 AM
Pat Cummins.

Pat Cummins. File picture

Ian Chappell has no doubts about Pat Cummins' inspirational qualities. He even goes to the extent of saying that whoever doesn't get inspired by the current Australia captain, "is in the wrong game".

Cummins, in six months' time, has retained the Ashes, won the World Test Championship and claimed the biggest prize of them all — the ODI World Cup.

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In his column for ESPNcricinfo, Chappell wrote: "Any cricketer who isn't inspired by Cummins is in the wrong game.

"Cummins was always going to be a good captain. Overlooking for a moment the difficulties of being a fast-bowling skipper, he was easily the most inspirational player in the Australian team, and one blessed with cricketing common sense."

The former Australia captain also likes the way Cummins sports his aggression, without going overboard with it. "....It is refreshing to watch Cummins and his team in action. Cummins' side is often spoken about as an ultra-aggressive Australian unit minus the ugly side effects.

"I'd put Cummins in the same bracket as Mark Waugh and Anil Kumble — fierce competitors who convey their intentions purely by their actions. Shooting your mouth off doesn't make you a tough player; quite often, it's exactly the opposite," said Chappell.

Chappell also praised the way Cummins leads by example. "In addition, Cummins is an outstanding fast bowler with a big heart, and has the much-admired knack of taking a wicket when it's really needed. To cap it off, he's a bowler who regularly troubles the opposition's best batters. These qualities make him amply qualified to be an inspiring captain," he said.

Diving deeper into Cummins' captaincy, Chappell compared him with some of the finest bowling captains in the history of world cricket, like Imran Khan of Pakistan, Richie Benaud of Australia and Ray Illingworth of England.

"By performing well as a captain in different countries and formats and in a variety of conditions, Cummins is putting himself in that category. Only Imran of that trio — an excellent leader of great presence — played in an era of rapidly growing limited-overs cricket," he wrote.

"It's not easy in the dog-eat-dog social-media climate for a current player to take a stand, but Cummins has had the guts to be front and centre on issues he is passionate about.

"Even in the ultra-demanding climate of Australian cricket, he has earned the right to remain captain for as long as he wants the role," Chappell concluded.

With inputs from PTI

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