Even by his usual big-hitting standards, Australia's Pat Cummins is "more startled" than anybody else following his 15-ball-56* blitzkrieg for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2022 match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on April 6, 2022.
Cummins, widely regarded as one of the best bowlers in modern cricket, struck an IPL record-equaling fastest fifty to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to a five-wicket triumph against MI on Wednesday. Cummins equaled KL Rahul's half-century in 14 balls, helping KKR chase down MI's 161-run total with 24 balls to spare.
"I probably think I'm most surprised by that innings. I'm glad that it came off. I was thinking of having a swing if it was in my area. Wasn't trying to overthink it," Cummins said.
"When I come into bat, it is at the end of the game. So I have clear thinking to just clear the ropes. Whenever I am facing him (Jasprit Bumrah), I just try to hit as hard as possible and fortunately it came off few times." Cummins may be the best fast bowler in the world, but he's no mug with the bat, as he demonstrated on Wednesday night when KKR needed 35 runs from 30 balls and scored them all in just six deliveries, with the Australian Test captain blasting six sixes and four boundaries.
Cummins added 61 runs off just 2.1 overs in partnership with Venkatesh Iyer (50 not out off 41), who spearheaded KKR's chase, to demolish MI's total with consummate ease on a bouncy, lively track. This included a 35-run over in which Cummins slammed 4 sixes and 2 fours off Daniel Sams in the 16th over.
"I was just trying to be the shot player. Venky was out there and he was batting well. I thought if I could get a few shots and make his job easy at the other end. For the shorter side of the boundary, I just try to get across and just target that area specifically. All I was trying to do was basically hit every ball for four or a six," the Australian Test captain said.
Cummins' innings came after a below-par bowling performance by his own standards, as Kieron Pollard clobbered him for three sixes in the penultimate over, which yielded 23 runs.
"It's welcome to T20 cricket. It happens, you try and take it away from his (Pollard) strengths but he got away, that happens in T20. I thought 160 odd was a good score, we would have taken that at the start of the game., more so I am pleased with how I bowled in the first 10 overs to keep us to that score."
(With PTI Inputs)