Former Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris believes Pat Cummins large workload in the third Test shouldn’t have an impact on his ability to back up for the series decider in Dharamsala.
Cummins, who hadn’t played a Test since his debut in South Africa six years ago due to ongoing injury issues, bowled 39 overs on a flat wicket in the first innings, but despite concerns over his durability, the former quick says he should again spearhead the attack as the Australians look to claim a famous series victory.
“I think we have to go with him again. They positive is that he didn’t have to bowl again yesterday,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“We need his pace – to come back and bowl like he did in conditions like that after a long time out of Test cricket is fantastic.
“We got him over there for his pace, that’s why he was a direct replacement for Mitchell Starc.”
“I’d be very surprised if there are any changes.
“Hopefully we get over the line – even a draw would retain the trophy, but a win would be unbelievable.”
Harris paid tribute to the efforts of Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb, whose 124-run fifth-wicket partnership steadied the Australian ship after the loss of Matt Renshaw and skipper Steve Smith.
“There’s been a lot of talk about him (Marsh) being in that side and he was brought back for this series being a good player of spin, and not doing a lot so far.
“It would have been a great confidence booster for him.
“He’s (Handscomb) never played Test cricket over there and he would never have batted on too many wickets like that, but to do it under so much pressure, it shows a lot about his character.
“That innings there is going to give him so much confidence going forward in hopefully the fourth Test, but also Test cricket in general.”
Harris said that the Ranchi pitch played much better than expected, but that we should expect surfaces tailored to the home team strengths to continue in the future.
“Its always happened in India,” Harris said.
“To be honest, I saw that pitch on social media and thought that was going to be the worst wicket (so far), but it ended up being probably the best.
“India, they’ve done it for years. They like winning – they don’t mind if the game goes three, four, or even two days if they have to.
“They just want to win and they bank on Australia and South Africa and England not being able to play spin as well as we probably should and especially batting on fourth and fifth days over there, its really hard.
“They’ve done it for a long time, they’re going to keep doing it.”
Harris said that playing 14 consecutive Tests on home soil has no doubt aided India’s ranking as the No.1 ranked team in the world, but they have played outstanding cricket over a long period of time.
“They’ve had really good go at Test cricket over there and that’s why I think they’re number one, I think.”