Hardik Worah
16 Nov 2022 | 09:59 AM

Looking at packed schedule, decision to skip IPL was pretty easy: Cummins

Australia's Test and ODI captain will be playing more than 100 days of international cricket over the next 12 months

Australia's Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins wants to be "physically and mentally fresh" going into the 2023 50-over World Cup in India and that's why he has decided to skip next year's Indian Premier League. The right-arm paceman, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders, will be playing more than 100 days of international cricket over the next 12 months.

"I really do love playing in the IPL, but just looking at the schedule, the decision was pretty easy. You not only want to be physically fresh but, as captain, you want to be mentally fresh as much as you can to make decisions," said Cummins ahead of the first ODI of the three-match series against England, which will be played in Adelaide on Thursday (November 17).

"Straight after the IPL, there are six Test matches, hopefully, we make the World Test Championship final. I was totally depleted after the last Ashes (in England) in 2019, so I just want to be going there as fresh as I can be."

Thanks to back-to-back T20 World Cups, the focus has largely been on T20 cricket in the last two years, which is now set to be shifted to the 50-over format. England, who won the 2022 T20 World Cup, are also the 50-over champions and this series will be a perfect way for Australia to kickstart their preparations for the next mega event.

"The last 12-24 months, there has been a big focus on T20 cricket and I think that focus now shifts to ODIs with a World Cup in 12 months' time. To challenge ourselves against the current title-holders and probably the most in-form team around the world, there's a lot to play for."

Australia, who won the 2021 T20 World Cup, failed to make it through to the knockouts of the recently-concluded T20 World Cup at their own backyard. In their last must-win group-stage encounter against Afghanistan, Australia dropped Mitchell Starc from the playing XI but Cummins has ensured that the left-arm paceman will take the new ball on Thursday.

"He will take the new ball. He's really positive. I hope he knows his value. He's been fantastic, especially in ODI cricket. He's a huge player for us," said Cummins.

The 29-year-old has already captained Australia in nine Tests but will be leading the country for the first time in ODIs. He was elevated to the captaincy of the ODI team after Aaron Finch announced his retirement from the format and Cummins wants his team to just go out and express themselves.

"When I took on this role, it was campaign-focused; there are a dozen ODIs until next year's World Cup and we will see how that goes and make a decision after that. I don't think you will see too much change from what Finchy brought to the squad around his captaincy. I hope I can provide an environment where the players can all go out and express themselves."

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