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We have got India in the WTC final first: Cummins amid Ashes build-up

Last updated on 03 Jun 2023 | 08:00 AM
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We have got India in the WTC final first: Cummins amid Ashes build-up

The skipper of Australia also stressed on the importance of playing for the national side despite the increasing growth of franchise cricket

Pat Cummins and the Australian Cricket team are in England for the much-awaited final of the World Test Championship against India starting on June 7 and the Ashes from June 16. 

Amid all the hype and excitement surrounding the two marquee clashes, especially the Ashes, Cummins believes the first focus for his side will be the summit clash against a formidable opposition. 

Australia missed an opportunity by the barest of margins in the last WTC cycle to feature in the final after being fined for slow over-rate, which resulted in them losing points and failing to be in the top two of the table.   

"We've got India in the World Test Championship final first, which I think a lot of people forgot," Cummins said in a conversation with The Age. 

"I think being new, it probably didn't hit us until the game was actually played, and you saw New Zealand do well, and you wish you were there," he quoted at the start of the Aussie summer last year against West Indies. 

"It feels like the second time around, and it's got a little bit more on it. It felt like a big missed opportunity, that first one. So it certainly gives a bit more context to every series now, something big to play for," he added. 

The 30-year-old also lauded the International Cricket Council for kickstarting the Test Championship, which gives the teams a little more impetus heading into the bilateral series. 

"The big series, say Ashes or India series where you play four or five Test matches, are obviously big battles, whereas the more common series where you play two or three in a series, the World Test Championship, gives them a bit more global context and something a bit extra to play for."

The right-arm pacer also shared his views on players not opting for national contracts and plying their trade a lot more in T20 franchise leagues around the world. "It's been coming for a while, but I think it is here now," he said. 

"International cricket doesn't have a monopoly on players' time like it did in the past. The IPL changed that a decade ago, but there's just going to be more and more content that creeps in, so I think we've got to be proactive about that."

"We have to keep making playing for Australia as special as we can, keeping a high performance to get every single player wanting to play for Australia as much as we can."

"That's going to be the challenge. I think it's upon us now, and we've got to start thinking about that quite deeply. I think fast-forward a few years, a 12-month international calendar might look a little bit different," he concluded. 

Australia will step onto the Oval as table toppers with 11 wins in 19 Test matches, and Cummins will hope for his side to start their much-awaited Ashes series riding high on confidence with a Test mace.  

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