Australian skipper Pat Cummins has dismissed Pakistan’s star batter Babar Azam twice in three innings in the ongoing series. While he was caught behind in Perth, Cummins knocked over Babar through the gate in Melbourne to stamp his authority once again.
"It's a dream ball. It's what you try to bowl most balls, but it's rare that it comes off. That wasn't a deliberate ball to seam in. It's fifty-fifty whether it will seam in or out. You try to create a bit of an angle, and if I don't know what it's doing, hopefully the batter doesn't know either,” said Cummins after the end of day two of the second Test.
Pakistan started day two on a superb note, dismissing Australia for 318. They lost Imam-ul-Haq early but Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood put on 90 runs for the second wicket and got the visitors to 124 at the loss of one wicket.
However, that’s when Cummins stepped up and dismissed Shafique and Babar in the space of four deliveries. Masood, Saud Shakeel and Agha Salman were also dismissed in quick succession and allowed Australia to take control of the game. Pakistan lost five wickets for just 46 runs and were 194/6 at the end of day two, still trailing by 124 runs.
"As a batting unit it hurts to lose these wickets back to back. But I hope we'll recover with this ongoing partnership. The conditions here are much different compared to Pakistan,” said Shafique, who scored 62 off 109 deliveries.
“Pat Cummins is a good bowler so as a batter you have to take your chances. He will not give you loose deliveries so you have to create them. He was planning something for me because I was playing well there, but I think he took a good catch as well.”
Meanwhile, talking about the tough conditions at the MCG and Marnus Labuschagne’s 63-run knock, Cummins said: “It was really tough, even the outfield's not very quick here so 300 is probably worth at least 400.
"The way he (Marnus) left and bided his time on day one I thought was really impressive, it got us to an overnight total when we were only three down.
“And then to keep going this morning... he didn't miss out when the ball was in his area and just his discipline to face 150 or 200 balls and guts it out was really important. His 60-odd today was probably worth a hundred in the context of the game."