New South Wales Blues' Pat Cummins celebrating Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard's wicket during the Champions league T20-2011 match in Chennai.
When he made his Test debut against South Africa in November, Pat Cummins became the youngest Australian in over 50 years to get the baggy green, at 18 years and 6 months. He proceeded to take 7 wickets in the match, including a magical six-wicket haul in the second innings. If that wasn't enough, he came in to bat at number 11 and hit the winning runs.
The affable tearaway, sidelined for the Test series because of a shin injury, is hopeful of regaining fitness ahead of the two T20s and the one-day triseries. He spoke exclusively to the Hindustan Times. Excerpts:
How is your rehabilitation?
I did a run on 70% of my body weight on a special machine today. The signs are positive and I should be able to run by next week. It (getting fit by mid-January) was the initial goal a couple of months ago, but the recovery's been a bit slower. I'm just taking it as it comes.
Any regrets over missing the Test series?
I was going well, because I finally got the time to reflect on all that's happened over the past six months (winning CA central contract, man of the match on debut). But when I came here (SCG) on the opening day and saw the crowd, I was gutted at not being able to savour that. It would have been special to play here.
You're likely to return for the T20 and ODI series. Any Indian batsman you want to bowl in particular?
Tendulkar is such a legend and I grew up watching him, but the one batsman I really want to bowl to is Sehwag because he's such an attacking batsman and takes you on.
What was the most special moment in your debut Test?
Getting my baggy green from Ricky Ponting, it was almost surreal… it's something that will live with you forever.
Clarke has said he wants you to focus on Tests. What are your thoughts on IPL?
The IPL is a great platform because you get to play against the best players in the world. If I get the chance to play, I'd love too. Midway through the IPL we have the West Indies tour but playing in the IPL will also be great preparation for the T20 World Championships later in the year. I was in India during the Champions League T20 last year and was swept away by the passion for the game in that part of the world.
On fellow pace spearhead James Pattinson and new bowling coach Craig McDermott.
I'm excited by Patto's performances this summer. To see the team performing so well has been great for me. We've spent a lot of time together in South Africa because we were the two youngest members in the squad and we bonded really well. With Craig, you just try to grasp everything he says because he's been such a legend of the game.