Pat Cummins has had a superb year in international cricket. He has helped Australia retain the Ashes in England, won the World Test Championship (WTC) final and now has led Australia to their sixth World Cup title as well. Moreover, he has done it in India, beating the hosts in the final in front of about 1,30,000 people at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Cummins, who has tasted so much success this year already, believes winning the ODI World Cup is the pinnacle of international cricket.
"I think that's the pinnacle of international cricket, winning a one-day World Cup. Especially over here in India, in front of a crowd like this. Yeah, that's huge. Yeah, it’s been a big year for everyone, but our cricket team has been here in India, Ashes, World Test Championship and top it off with this is just huge and these are the moments that you'll remember for the rest of your life," Cummins said at the post-match press conference.
"It's just every international team comes together. You only get a shot at it every four years. Even if you have a ten-year career, you might only get two chances at it. And yeah, it's just the whole cricket world stops with this World Cup. So, it doesn't get any better," he further explained.
Cummins won the toss in the final and elected to bowl first. Explaining the reason behind it, the skipper said, "The pitch played pretty well actually, it was quite slow and basically no bounce, but I don't think the bounce was anything different to anywhere else in the tournament. It probably didn't spin as much as I thought it would."
"Yesterday [On Saturday] it looked really dry, but it was quite firm today. Yeah, the wicket was fine, really. And then the toss, we were kind of umming and ahhing right up until the toss really - but I thought you know, half a chance of the wicket getting better tonight and you know, in a World Cup game you can make a mistake bowling and it doesn't really matter too much, but if you make a mistake batting and you're under pressure it can be fatal so I just felt like it was the right time to go out and have a bowl."
Cummins feels winning the World Cup in India is surely the best moment for him, among everything else he has achieved.
"The World Test Championship was huge, like again, another two-year campaign - but yet an ODI World Cup – it’s the rich history, I think and to come out of a place like India where you know the conditions are so different to back home, it's pretty gruelling, you know, 11 games in whatever it was, 5 - 6 weeks but yeah, the way the group stuck together and got through it and yeah holding the medal is - that's the pinnacle," Cummins said.
Marnus Labuschagne, who scored a vital fifty in the World Cup final, and also put on a match-winning 192 for the fourth wicket with Travis Head (137), was not part of the initial squad for the World Cup. Head, too, had issues of his own, missing the initial stages of the World Cup due to a broken hand.
However, both went on to play huge roles in Australia's World Cup triumph.
"The Marnus one...we wanted to be pretty brave this World Cup we didn't want to kind of limp into the semi-finals, we wanted to be the team that could score 400 and you saw that the way we kind of shaped up with Trav, Warner and then having Marshy at number three.
"We wanted to be really aggressive and then a couple of our all-rounders are obviously aggressive to finish up the innings so we would rather fail that way, but then Marnus just showed his class and in South Africa, you had to pick him, he was fantastic and he was playing a different style to probably what he did for the first start of his ODI career and it was paying off and we know he's a gun so you had to try and find room for him."
Speaking of Head, Cummins lauded the selectors and the coach for risking playing him from the halfway stage onwards. "He might be right for the Netherlands, Cummins said on what the medical team had initially said.
"Then if we're going to make the finals and we want to win the World Cup I think he needs to be there for the finals - so yeah, it's his idea and yeah, again, great work by the medical team and it means you probably don't have the second spinner in your squad, which is a risk, but yeah, obviously paid off."
Plenty of players from the triumphant World Cup squad, including Head, Marcus Stoins, Adam Zampa, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott and Steven Smith, will be in action in the five-match T20I series against India, which begins on November 23.